Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Zhi Tea
This exquisite black tea from Fujian Province in China has become the favorite at Zhi. If you like the rich complexity of a classic Chinese black tea with all the hallmark smoothness and depth, be prepared to be enchanted. This is a top-grade exclusive tea with a major wow factor.
Thin, twisted leaves present a deep rich red cup with distinct caramelized sugar and chocolate notes and a long creamy finish. Mouthfeel, mouthfeel, mouthfeel.
If you like a great Keemun or a Gold Yunnan then you will love this tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
It took me a while to warm up to China black teas. When I began my tea drinking journey I often found these teas to be… lacking. In my mind the black teas from China were a finicky, touchy lot that required absolute precision in the measurement of the tea leaves and the steep time, and even then the resulting infusion was just okay. Now I know it was the quality of the tea I was using that was yielding a poor cup. Once I started drinking higher quality tea my love for black teas from China grew by leaps and bounds. I was introduced to a world of nuances and flavors that I hadn’t experienced in a tea before. I am now a card carrying tea fiend, and China black teas are often found in my teapot. The latest one to find its way into my pot is Gong Fu Black from Zhi.
When it comes to quality organic tea Zhi delivers a wonderful product. Their Gong Fu Black is a delightfully complex tea full of chocolate, baked bread, grain, and nutty notes. There is also a natural sweetness which brings out a lovely fruity flavor. The tea is smooth and full bodied which makes this a wonderful breakfast tea, but I must say that I also really like this in the afternoon. It’s a nice pick-me-up should that mid-afternoon slump hit. Also, this tea re-steeps like a dream which is always a plus in my book.
My favorite way to prepare this tea is using 1 teaspoon of leaves per 8 ounces of 205° F water and letting the leaves steep for 3 minutes, 30 seconds. Over steeping can cause some astringency, but I have let this tea steep for as long as 4 minutes, 45 seconds with great results. A longer steep really brings out the deeper roasted grain notes in the tea. Yum.
It’s fun to look back at my tea journey and see how much I’ve learned. I’ve gone from not liking China black teas to counting many of them among the tastiest teas I’ve tried. Zhi’s Gong Fu Black easily falls into that category. It’s a tea worth checking out.