Another one I got out of curiosity and the description online. Caramel, coffee, and cocoa were the notes that sold me.

Something told me that this was a tea specifically designed for Gongfu. I’ve had it western for comparison later on, but the roasted nutty vegetal character this has hides the natural sweeter notes like honey, caramel, coffee, and cocoa. This is one that you honestly have to master steeping in order to fully enjoy. Gongfu means “skilled art” after all. Also, the water should be between 190-to just under boiling to enjoy.

#1. Rinse that is really a 15 second steep. Creamy, nutty….caramel?

#2. 45 seconds. Nutty, caramel, smooth, light…and even a little bit like coffee. Dig it!

#3. 60 seconds. Not nearly as strong as the first or second steep, but still complex. Maybe toffee, but not quite. Somehow, it reminds me of a Dian Hong.

#4. 80 seconds….over steep at around 2 1/2 minutes. Very forgiving. More floral, but still reminiscent of coffee. Awesome while listening to Linkin Park under thunder.

#5. 6 minutes after incremental checks. Mostly nutty, and kinda like toffee.

Overall, I was surprised and impressed. Much sweeter than I was actually expecting. It was almost exactly what I was looking for when I was painting. I can’t help but wonder now what the regular osmanthus one tastes like…

Anyway, the Gongfu session is easily a 90 for me, but western a 70. Subjective, I know, but one that I really like. Not quite sure who I would recommend this to.

Flavors: Caramel, Coffee, Floral, Nuts, Salt, Smooth, Toffee, Vegetal

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
Wang Family’s Jasmine Shanlinxi
Spring, Winter Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwanese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling, Jasmine Shan Lin Xi; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong; Paru’s Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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