Thursday, December 16, 2010

Supreme Gong Fu Black

Bird Pick Tea & Herb contacted me recently and kindly sent samples of some of their unflavored and unscented teas.
The only downside of the teas right off the bat was that there were no specified regions of origin and no year / season of harvest. I do not let details like that deter me from the tea though.

I drink tea for what it is.

This tea is their "GongFu Black."
By look and smell of the dry leaf I am presuming that it is a keemun, or at least from Anhui province.

The dry leaf smells of chocolate, cherry, maple wood and earth.
There are a few scattered golden buds here and there among the multitude of small, wiry, black leaves. I enjoy a black tea with a good amount of buds, as I like the fruity sweetness that they impart into the flavor.

The aroma wafting off of the liquor is very fruity, with the essence of cherry and honey.
Maple floats up as well. This tea is quite sweet.
I can tell that it is rich, and it smells fresh.

As I sip my cup, the full flavor shows;
deep, rich cherry with a mild astringency.

It still presents that special something that keemun teas all have in common. It is distinct, but nothing that I can describe in words.

The finish on all the infusions is distinctly grape. Not Welch's Concord grape, but closer to a wine grape.
Wood and maple are also long lasting flavors.
The tea is very clean and cleanses the palate.

The tea lasts quite a long time and it deserves the title of a GongFu.
I push the tea to 7 infusions. That is impressive for a black tea.

Bird Pick has a good start in my book!
I thank the company for their generosity.



  1. No one can deceive you, right?
    Impressive demonstration Sir William.

  2. The way you describe it, it sounds delightful.

    But I have an enmity with Black tea, and I have a feeling I wouldn't actually enjoy this. :/ grape? Wood? Maple? Those are flavours to be savoured.


  3. Fox,

    It is strange that you do not enjoy black teas! I feel that for the most part, black teas are the easiest to enjoy for most palates. Quite the novelty! And as you say, this tea was one to be savored!

  4. I just read this post now and it ironically answers the question in a blog post I just wrote, about black teas that work well for multiple infusions. I have yet to try a tea like this.

    I don't know if it's just the lighting, but the dry leaf looks greener in color than any Keemun I've seen.

  5. Alex,

    Usually Keemuns work well for multiple infusions, as far as my experiences go. And also any golden bud or golden yunnan tea.
    My general rule is to infuse chinese blacks more than once and indian and sri lankan blacks only once.

    It could be the lighting, but this tea has a pretty black appearance in the dry leaf. Although, keemuns can be fairly light sometimes!