Premium Dian Hong Gong Fu Black Tea from M&K’s Tea Company

DianHongGongFuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  M&K’s Tea Company on Etsy

Tea Description:

A young tea (first crafted in 1938), Dianhong Gong Fu tea is a fantastic, full-bodied tea of Yunnan. For a black tea, it is distinctly mellow with subtle fruity notes and a slight maltiness. In the context of tea making, “Gong Fu” can roughly be translated to mean “great skill”, or the skill required to craft the tea, while “Dian Hong” (or Dianhong) means “Yunnan Red” (Dian being short for Yunnan and hong meaning red (as in red tea)).

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Mmm!  This Premium Dian Hong Gong Fu Black Tea from M&K’s Tea Company is wonderful!

It’s a smooth, flavorful tea with a note of tangy astringency toward the finish.  I notice that the astringency starts out rather faint but as I continue to sip, the astringency builds. It doesn’t become really strong or anything, but, it is definitely stronger now than when I first started sipping on this cup.  It’s a drier finish now than when I first started drinking this tea.

It’s a full-flavored tea but it’s not an overly aggressive tea, as the description above implies, it has a mellowness to it that I quite like.  This would be a great tea to serve in the afternoon as a pick-me-up, but not a tea that I’d reach for in the morning when I want that boost of gusto.

Nice fruity notes – I taste plum!  There are notes of malt but not a strong ‘sweetness’ to this tea.  There is a balance between sweet and savory.

Overall, a really enjoyable cup of tea.  I don’t know that this is the best Dian Hong black tea that I’ve tried, but it’s a mighty fine one.

Lishan Tian Fu Oolong Tea from T-Oolong Tea

LiShanTianFuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  T-Oolong Tea

Tea Description:

This high quality Lishan Tian Fu Oolong is handpicked, handcrafted and produced from Qingxin Oolong varietal grown in the mountain areas of Li Mountain. The aroma and taste of the tea are intensely floral, sweet, fruity and rich with honeysuckle-like flavors. The aftertaste is very sweet and long lasting, and this tea stands up very well to multiple infusions. It is very rich, smooth and delectable with almost no bitterness and astringency.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

There are few tea times more enjoyable than when I brew myself a cup of LiShan Oolong tea!  And this LiShan Tian Fu Oolong Tea from T-Oolong Tea is so amazing!

I combined five infusions in one Yixing mug, and the combination of the infusions produces a sublime flavor of sweet, exotic tasting flower with hints of fruit.  It is an intensely flavored cup.  The most prominent note is that of the floral tones, which is reminiscent of the essence I would experience from the springtime air at my gramma’s house when I was young.

You see, she had a very prolific honeysuckle vine on the rear corner of her house, right next to one of the bedroom windows.  And when the weather was warm during those later spring days, the window would be open, and the breezes from the Santa Ana winds would filter through the honeysuckle plant and then the breeze would enter the window.  That’s what I’m experiencing as I sip this tea!  I just love how tea brings these fond memories to life.

Beneath the sweet and floral honeysuckle-esque notes I taste faint vegetative notes that have a slight buttery intonation to them.  There is some creaminess to this cup, but it isn’t a strong creamy note, nor does it seem to build or intensify as I continue to sip.  It’s a subtle creamy taste and texture that melds with the vegetal tones.

Toward the end of the sip, a hint of fruit emerges … just faintly.  It is a sweet note that reminds me of a crunchy apple, but without the tartness that I usually associate with an apple.  As mentioned in the above review, I notice no bitterness, and no astringency.

And while this particular tea is not currently in stock on T-Oolong Tea’s website, I think it would be worth the effort to keep checking in occasionally to find out when this tea will be restocked.  It’s a LOVELY tea, and if you love Oolong, it’s one you should try!

Fu Man Chu Tea Blend from SerendipiTea

Fu-Man-ChuTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Pouchong & Pu-erh

Where to Buy:  Amoda Tea

Tea Description:

Here is a contradictory and complex tea to expand your horizons. Jasmine scented pouchong gives us a beautiful sweet, fresh and floral flavour and pu-erh offers up its earthiness. Pouchong and pu-erh are such opposites, but somehow blend so nicely together in this cup.

This is our Father’s Day Tea. One of the Amoda dads texted that he wanted something “not too fancy, just some jazzman tea”. So, we set out on a jasmine journey and kept coming back to this tea that was so unique, but not too “fancy” for dad.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn how to subscribe to Amoda’s Monthly Tea Tasting Box here.

Taster’s Review:

Before brewing it, I had my doubts about this Fu Man Chu tea blend from SerendipiTea.  I wasn’t sure how I would like it – I mean, I love jasmine so I had every confidence that I’d enjoy a Jasmine Pouchong … but – I thought to myself – why did they have to add Pu-erh to it?  I’m not always a fan of Pu-erh, and I worried that by adding the Pu-erh to this blend, SerendipiTea may have very well ruined a perfectly good Jasmine Pouchong.

I’m happy to say that I was wrong!  This is really quite good.

The aroma of the dry leaf is more jasmine and Pouchong than it is Pu-erh.  I can  detect only faint earthy notes in the fragrance of the dry leaf, but the lovely notes of jasmine are abundant and absolutely delightful to the nose.

And the flavor … is very much the way the scent suggests!  The Jasmine Pouchong notes are the strongest flavors, with mere hints of of the earthy flavor of Pu-erh.  As I continue to sip, the notes of Pu-erh develop somewhat, but they are always more to the background, allowing the sultry beauty of the Jasmine to shine through along with the soft, silky taste of the Pouchong.

This is an extremely well-crafted blend by SerendipiTea.  I’m very impressed, and very glad I got to try it.  I love it when I get a tea like this from Amoda Tea – something that I probably would not have purchased on my own because I honestly would not have found myself interested or curious about a blend of Jasmine Pouchong and Pu-erh … but now that I have tried it … I’m really happy with the cup I have before me!  This is great!

Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea from Teavivre


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Being the first one among Fujian’s three best Gong Fu Black Teas (Bai Lin Gong Fu, Zheng He Gong Fu, Tan Yang Gong Fu), Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea has tight and thin leaves, looks glossy, which could be seen from TeaVivre’s product photo. When looking at this tea, the golden pekoe is particularly eye-catching, strongly connected to its high quality. Under the effect of photosynthesis, fresh buds contain the largest amount of beneficial substances than other parts. Moreover, the traditional making method of black tea has retained the nutrition in the most volume.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Having tried several different Fujian Gong Fu Black Teas, including Teavivre’s stunning Bailin Gongfu Black Tea, I was looking forward to trying this Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea from Teavivre.  But, my previous experiences with Fujian black teas did not prepare me for what this tea had in store!

This is simply different!

It is still quite similar to other Fujian black teas in that it has the sweet, satisfying flavors of chocolate and caramel.  But whereas most of the Fujian black teas with which I’ve had experience would be vaguely reminiscent of say, an Assam in its rich, malty tone, this Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea is much more reminiscent of a Ceylon.  It has that bright, brisk tone to the cup that reminds me of a very high-quality Ceylon, but with the sweet, chocolate-y and caramel-y tones that I love from a Fujian black.  With this tea I get the best of both of those teas in one cup!

This tea is not quite as rich and not quite as full-bodied, in my opinion, but that isn’t a bad thing.  Sometimes, a crisp, exhilarating cuppa like this is just what you want!  This would make an exceptional afternoon cup – it makes a great pick-me-up for those times when you’re starting to feel yourself wind down but you still have stuff to get done.  This will help energize you without causing you to start bouncing off the walls!

This is a pleasantly sweet tea, as I mentioned before, with notes of chocolate and caramel, but there is also a sweet fruit note to this as well.  I think that the lightness to this tea allows the fruit notes to express themselves a little better than in a typical Fujian black tea.  Hints of a flower seem to float in the far-off distance.

A really enjoyable cup of tea – courtesy of Teavivre – a name that has become synonymous with fine teas!

2012 Fu Ding Bai Cha Chinese White Tea from China Cha Dao

2012 Fu Ding Bai Cha from China Cha Dao
2012 Fu Ding Bai Cha from China Cha Dao

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  White

Where to Buy:  China Cha Dao

Tea Description:

Fuding Ba Cha is a really healthy tea, it has the effect of medicaltreatment, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, anti-oxidation, anti-radiation & anti-tumor. We have customer with high blood pressure and this tea works out really well for him, just have a small cup everyday or every two day, is healthy!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This white tea really took me by surprise!  Usually when I brew a white tea, I expect it to be gentle and of subtle taste.  Delicate.  But this has a much stronger flavor than I expected!  Yes, this 2012 Fu Ding Bai Cha Chinese White tea from China Cha Dao has a softer flavor than say, a Yunnan Black tea … but for a white tea – this tea boasts a whole lot of taste!

The flavor is vegetative, but not in the same way a green tea tastes vegetative.  This is more like a crisp, light taste that reminds me of freshly cut hay … hay that isn’t quite dried through, still has a bit of that fresh, green-ness to it.  There is also a taste that evokes thoughts of dew drops on new spring leaves.  It has that kind of freshness to it.

There is a mild nutty flavor to this as well as a creamy note that is really quite enticing … it keeps me sipping.  The tea is very beautifully complex … the kind of tea that you want to steep on a lazy afternoon when you just want to relax and contemplate the beauty of tea.  (And when do you NOT want to do that?  Sure, we don’t always have TIME to do that, but I think we always want to, don’t we?)  It is a nice tea with which to unwind, and it is gently restorative.

A really nice tea – the first that I’ve tried from this company.  If this is any indication of how wonderful the teas from this company are going to be, I’m really looking forward to tasting more!