Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Bird Pick Tea & Herb
The term Gongfu is a term used to describe the Chao Zhou and Min Nan way of preparing tea in a skillful manner. Rather than focusing on symbolic hand gestures like Japanese tea ceremonies, Gongfu focuses on accomplishing a great taste of tea to satisfy the soul. This tea is characterized by fine, unbroken twisted leaves.
The dry leaf has a very interesting aroma. I can smell notes of cocoa, but I can also smell a distinct licorice note. I don’t recall ever smelling a licorice-y smell in a tea that didn’t actually contain licorice root (or anise or fennel). But, I don’t find this off-putting in the least; I adore licorice. I was actually quite excited to try it after smelling it. This licorice-y fragrance disappears when brewed and does not translate into the flavor.
That might be a little disappointing if the tea didn’t taste as fabulous as it does! This is a remarkable tea!
The flavor is quite rich and smooth. There are faint savory cocoa notes in the background as a sweet caramel-like note approaches the palate. There is an earthy quality to this tea as well although I do not find this to be overwhelming.
I can also taste intriguing notes of spice which seem to perk up the palate just as the sip finishes and they linger well into the aftertaste. There is a light astringency to this tea and even a faint hint of bitterness that contrasts nicely with the sweet tastes that I described a moment ago. I like how this tea seems to tempt all areas of the palate. A full-flavored, full-bodied, and fully pleasurable tea!