The scent of the dry tea leaves is bright and fresh with a richer, perhaps malty tinge. At first I was a little worried that my tea would end up tasting like a bale of orchard grass hay, but fortunately that didn’t turn out to be the case.
I steeped the tea according to the steeping recommendations on the packet, although I may have been a bit generous with the leaves. The leaves are on the small side but not superfine or too small to be good quality. They’re third flush, or autumn harvested, which means the flavor is different because the leaves are growing more slowly in the autumn as opposed to the rapid spring and summer growth of the first two flushes. This may be why this tea seems maltier and less floral than other darjeelings I’ve tried.
There’s a distinct black tea fragrance as soon as the leaves hit the water. The fresh, grass-hay fragrance note doesn’t go away but it melds with the heady floral and malt of the oxidized tea. I can definitely catch the floral scent in this tea, although the grass-hay scent seems to me to be more prominent than the malty scent that’s mentioned in the description.
After steeping, the liquor is a yellow-tinged orange color and rather dark, although it’s not one of the darkest blacks I’ve seen. As for flavor, it’s very floral and sweet, but it’s tangy too, with the astringency pulling at the sides of my tongue, but there’s no bitterness, which is nice. Although I can still catch the orchard-grass scent once the tea is steeped, there’s no grass/hay taste in the tea itself. Also, I know I said floral, but this tea is not strong-flavored; it’s delicately floral as opposed to being overwhelmingly jasmine-y.
This particular tea is just lovely with a bit of sugar. I’d say that’s my favorite way to drink it, with just a bit of sugar and no milk. Yes, it’s good with milk too, and I usually like milk in my tea, but here I find that I don’t like the way the milk cushions and muffles the tea flavors.
It’s a nice, warming, strengthening cup overall, and I’d certainly enjoy keeping this one in my stash! I’ll also have to go and check out some more third flush darjeelings to see whether I can find the characteristics I admired in this tea elsewhere or whether they’re unique to this tea alone.
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Black Tea
Where to Buy: TeaBox
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Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Teavivre
Origin: Tanyang Village (坦洋村) in Fu’an, Fujian, China
Ingredients: Tea buds with pure leaves
Harvest time: May, 2012
Taste: It presents slight aroma of sweet potato when brewed; tastes smooth and mellow with sweet aftertaste
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.
Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea from Teavivre offers quite a different experience. It has a lot of the same flavor notes that one gets from a Fujian black tea such as sweet potato, malt, and cocoa but Superfine Tan Gong Fu is much lighter both in flavor and mouthfeel.
It is quite relaxing and soothing in the way it makes me feel thus a good afternoon or early evening black. I don’t think I would particularly select this tea for morning as I find it brings about a tea high state rather than the wake up call I need.
As I sipped on this tea I found myself so relaxed, and spaced out that I checked my blood sugar (I’m type 1 diabetic) just to be sure I was not running too high. High blood sugars often mimic a spaced out state of dizziness and being sleepy. My blood sugar was perfectly fine. Outside of aliens having zapped my brain I am pretty sure it was the tea. I have had tea highs before, generally with pu’erh but now and then I get it in other leaf types. This is one of those times.
The tea itself is rather sweet and has a fruit nectar note to it. There is also very much a pipe tobacco note within this tea as I have noticed a couple of other reviews mentioning. It causes the throat to feel a bit dry after the sip, a little scratchy too but that feeling does not last too long.
Seriously – I keep spacing out writing this review so I am going to close by saying – a truly unique experience. I am very glad that I had a sample of it from my last Teavivre order.