Gui Fei Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Cedar, Char, Cream, Fruity, Geranium, Honey, Lemon, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Peach, Roasted nuts, Rose, Saffron, Violet, Roasted, Tangy, Apricot, Cinnamon, Dark Wood, Heavy, Nutty, Red Apple, Roasted Barley, Floral, Sweet, Flowers, Roast nuts, Toast
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 3 oz / 84 ml

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8 Tasting Notes View all

  • “A couple months back, Totem Tea offered to send me some free samples in exchange for a review of each on Steepster. Now I am not one to ever turn down free tea, regardless of how large my backlog...” Read full tasting note
    86
  • “Gong Fu’d a sample and was surprised that I enjoyed it. I did not get the rocky, sea weed salty roast that I normally associate with this tea and instead got something juicy and floral. It made me...” Read full tasting note
  • “I think it’s safe to say this is a totally new and unique tea experience for us. Had one sample of this and used all 5 grams of it. The dry, rolled leaves didn’t have too assuming of a scent, but...” Read full tasting note
  • “A nice and roasty oolong. The small pebbles of tea are wrapped tight and roasted. I catch whiffs of toasted barley, ripe fruit, and a slight char. I warmed my gaiwan up and slipped a few of these...” Read full tasting note
    86

From Totem Tea

Gui Fei Red, also known as Concubine Oolong is one of the sweetest oolongs. It is from a category of tea we refer to as leaf-bitten oolong, and it has a dynamic profile that pairs a mild charcoal roast to fully maintained bouquet of honeyed flowers.

Leaf-bitten teas deserve to be in a category of their own. There are several stories about how Gui Fei’s preparation method came to pass, and it appears that the most reliable story is that in 1999 there was an earthquake in central Taiwan and the tea farmers of Fenghuang village were forced to evacuate. Upon returning the farmers noticed that the tea plants had been overrun with cicadas that had nibbled on the leaves and stems. They processed the least damaged leaves and found that an almost magical transformation had occurred. Tea tasted completely different with an intense sweetness.

Shortly after the cicadas had bitten the leaves the plant created more sugars to heal itself. In addition, the leaves began to oxidize while still living on the bush, as opposed to the post-harvest human-assisted oxidation that commonly happens by tossing and rolling the leaves.

To this day same Fenghuang farmers near the Phoenix Mountain range in Taiwan encourage the little “leaf-hoppers” as they call them to nibble on the leaves to create this Gui Fei. There is now a beautiful, mutually beneficial 4-way symbiotic relationship between the cicada, the tea plant, the farmer, and the tea drinker.

Gui Fei has a tendency to be tricky to brew. It’s best to get to know this tea with shorter infusions. We use 200 degree water with 30 second infusions. The first infusion before the leaves open fully will be a delicate preview of the fireworks to come. Latter infusions have a profile that is a lot like a robust Oriental Beauty with extra sweetness. As the mouth-feel fades after the 4th infusion, the nose continues to bloom like a lively rose garden.

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8 Tasting Notes

86
853 tasting notes

A couple months back, Totem Tea offered to send me some free samples in exchange for a review of each on Steepster. Now I am not one to ever turn down free tea, regardless of how large my backlog of reviews is or how much tea I already possess, so naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. I have been promising to get around to posting reviews for at least two or three weeks, and here I am finally get a start on that. Of the teas I was sent, this was the first I tried. I found it to be a very nice, sophisticated Gui Fei oolong.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. The instructions on the sample pouch instructed me not to rinse the tea, but as I always rinse oolongs, I opted for a flash rinse (water on, water off). After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 200 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by infusions of 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I caught aromas of honey, prune, and nectarine coming from the dry tea leaves. After the rinse, I discovered interesting scents of rose, cedar, and roasted almond. The first infusion brought out a subtle orange scent. In the mouth, I found predictably light notes of honey, rose, roasted almond, and orange accompanied by hints of malt and cream. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger cream and malt impressions while the cedar, nectarine, and prune notes showed up in the mouth. I also began to get notes of butter, peach, saffron, violet, baked bread, geranium, lemon, toasted cashew, and minerals underscored by a slight charcoal presence. The later infusions offered lingering impressions of cream, minerals, malt, and charcoal balanced by touches of honey and dried fruit.

It was obvious to me that this was a quality Gui Fei oolong. There was a lot to appreciate about it. I was a little disappointed that I did not get more sweetness out of the last series of infusions, but that may have had more to do with the way I brewed the tea and my ongoing battle with seasonal allergies than anything else. Overall, I was rather impressed. Check this one out if you are a fan of bug-bitten oolongs.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Cedar, Char, Cream, Fruity, Geranium, Honey, Lemon, Malt, Mineral, Orange, Peach, Roasted nuts, Rose, Saffron, Violet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Totem Tea

Wonderful! I’m very glad you enjoyed the tea, and I look forward to your future reviews. All the best, – Phillip

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1124 tasting notes

Gong Fu’d a sample and was surprised that I enjoyed it. I did not get the rocky, sea weed salty roast that I normally associate with this tea and instead got something juicy and floral. It made me think of hot apple juice with roast only coming in the later, longer steeps. The floral edge was something that I did not see coming and that made me pretty happy. So my appreciation of this roast has been reinvigorated, but at the same time, I do not see myself getting this tea for its price. I do recommend it as a Gui Fei to try if you are exploring some avenues.

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356 tasting notes

I think it’s safe to say this is a totally new and unique tea experience for us. Had one sample of this and used all 5 grams of it. The dry, rolled leaves didn’t have too assuming of a scent, but as soon as I washed, the roasty, woody, tangy fruit aroma hit. The liquor is a nice medium gold.

The flavor is a bit hard for me to put into words immediately. That tangy flavor is definitely front and center for me, and there’s an interesting spiciness, both in flavor and sensation at the back of my throat. Fruity, floral (but light enough not to put me off), and I can tell there is some char in there, but it seems pretty subtle.

Second steep is nice and robust. A bit more woody with roasted nuts and rounded out by that tangy fruit. I feel like I am getting some camphor notes and, surprisingly, a bit of qi off this, as well.

More roasted nuts in the third steep, with a hint of creaminess on the tail end and a lingering sweetness.

Got a couple more steeps out of this before the day came to an end. I definitely would like to further explore this type of oolong!

Flavors: Fruity, Roasted, Roasted nuts, Tangy

Preparation
5 g

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86
506 tasting notes

A nice and roasty oolong. The small pebbles of tea are wrapped tight and roasted. I catch whiffs of toasted barley, ripe fruit, and a slight char. I warmed my gaiwan up and slipped a few of these inside. The taste moved into pure roast with a lingering sweetness. I dark heavy wood tone stood in the background. I washed the small rocks and prepared for brewing. The taste was unique and intoxicating. A smooth and full brew of hot apple cider, cinnamon and smoked apples with a touch of cranberry. This was a pronounced taste. The brew is nice and full bodied with nutty aftertaste. The apple tone continued to be pronounced along with some apricot in later steeping. This is a wonderful dark fruited oolong that was nice and filling.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BGFf9S-zGW-/?taken-by=haveteawilltravel

Flavors: Apricot, Char, Cinnamon, Dark Wood, Heavy, Nutty, Red Apple, Roasted, Roasted Barley

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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1271 tasting notes

I rolled in thinking I was going to be drinking some green oolong with lots of floral. I missed the “red” in the title of this tea. This oolong is not green!

This tea has some charcoal roast to it, so this is a floral gui fei with peachy, roasty, woodsy, buttery, and honey notes. This tea is certainly meaty to start. The final steeps are excellent with tasting like straight honey.

Full review on Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.com/gui-fei-red-oolong-totem-tea-tea-review/

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 g 1 OZ / 16 ML
Zennenn

Sounds just perfect for fall.

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80
342 tasting notes

Sample from CWarren.
Backlog August 8, 2016

I’ve been bad at writing reviews on here as I drink the tea. I’m always preoccupied lately with work, school, adoption stuff, reading, or socializing as I write these in my notebook, for later updates. And after 11 days, here we are, copying down what I had written nearly two weeks ago.

A very nutty tea from the smell and taste. Some sweet floral notes on the tongue as the tea progresses. Slightly malty, but nothing like an Assam. As the tea progresses (steep 11-13), there are pear and/or other fruity notes around the mouth.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Nutty, Sweet

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921 tasting notes

A great sadness has occurred, after much debate the Ark tribe on multiplayer is disbanding.We just keep losing too many resources and time to glitches, and new additions to the game have made things so much harder. We used to have a pretty secure base with our xplant turrets, but they tweaked them, meaning living in the swamp with ALL the things that want to kill us has made getting fertilizer a full time job, plus with all the bugs it is just not fun anymore. So we are going to single player, where if we die to a bug and lose everything I can just spawn it back in, the game can go back to being fun I hope.

Today I am looking at the last of the samples I received from Totem Tea, though certainly not the last since there are more of their teas I want to try, presenting Gui Fei Oolong! A classic staple on the blog, as my obsession with bug-bitten teas is well known and I will try any I can get my greedy mitts on. There is something very charming to me about the need for little nibbly bugs, that their presence causes an amino response in the plant that creates a signature taste, the result of a happy accident, as many awesome things are. The aroma of the tea is a three way balance of stewed fruit, roasted nuts, and baking bread. Sweet plums and cherries mix with walnut and pecans with a gentle honey drizzled freshly baked whole grain bread. Definitely can pick out notes of sweet buckwheat, which I always love.

Yowza, that aroma is potent once it has been steeped, strong notes of stewed plums and cherries mix with honey sweet lychees and a touch of dates. Alongside this fruity goodness is walnuts and toasted buckwheat which make sure that the fruity notes are intense without ever being cloying. The liquid is like nectar, plum and lychee with buttery cashew and raw honey, it is very sweet and mouthwatering.

This tea starts light but is nectar sweetness, a gentle mouthfeel and taste, with notes of lychee and cashews. It then moves to cooked plums and grapes with a distant note of spring flowers. With a finish of gentle toasted grains, this tea is much like a fruit pie, sweet and just the right amount of toasty.

I wasted no time chugging that first cup and moving on to the next, and I consider a good sign of Gui Fei when by steep two my tasting notes start to list to the side. The aroma is fruity sweet and toasted grains, a good blend of sweet and roast. The flavor notes of the first steep were still present, but intensified, and with a thick nectar like mouthfeel this tea has gone from wonderful to intense. One of the best aspects of this steep is the afteratste of peaches that lingers for quite a while, eventually ending off in a bit of a starchy grain note.

For the last steep this blog covers somehow manages to be sweeter in aroma, but it still manages to not be cloying, one of the things I love about Gui Fei. Thick and sweet, that is what is really to be taken away from this tea, it is like a fruit cobbler in liquid form, complete with nuts and a bit of crust. Of course three steeps is only the beginning, there is a lot more life in these leaves that keep giving sweet nectar for quite a while.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2016/07/totem-tea-gui-fei-oolong-tea-review.html

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493 tasting notes

i received a box of 4 samples for review.

Gui fei is bug bitten kind of oolong.
quoting from Totem tea website:
“Leaf-bitten teas deserve to be in a category of their own. There are several stories about how Gui Fei’s preparation method came to pass, and it appears that the most reliable story is that in 1999 there was an earthquake in central Taiwan and the tea farmers of Fenghuang village were forced to evacuate. Upon returning the farmers noticed that the tea plants had been overrun with cicadas that had nibbled on the leaves and stems. They processed the least damaged leaves and found that an almost magical transformation had occurred. Tea tasted completely different with an intense sweetness.

Shortly after the cicadas had bitten the leaves the plant created more sugars to heal itself. In addition, the leaves began to oxidize while still living on the bush, as opposed to the post-harvest human-assisted oxidation that commonly happens by tossing and rolling the leaves."

Dry leaf smelled so good of roasted nuts.5g 100ml glazed pot 200F
no rinse/30/15/10/15/20 sec etc
This tea is fruity sweet and citrusy too with touch of roasted nuts. Complex, changing with every steep. so delicious and refreshing during heat wave we experiencing now.
I dont recommend to have long steeps as it becomes somewhat bitter and astrigent but short steeps take care of this problem.

Thanks so much Totem Tea for the chance to try it. I will try your parameters next time with the 2nd packet

https://instagram.com/p/BGFWtbzhwlC/

https://instagram.com/p/BGFaZLTBwu9/

https://instagram.com/p/BGFcPzvBwju/

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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