When I was browsing this vendor’s website around Christmas 2018, it had three bug-bitten teas. Naturally, they all ended up in my cart. After Bai Hao, I love Gui Fei, and it’s usually a lot friendlier on the wallet. This one does not disappoint. Following the website’s instructions, I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 212F for 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds, followed by a couple long, untimed infusions to extract all the flavour.

The dry tea leaves smell like honey, raisins, and flowers. The first steep has soft honey florals with raisins and a little stewed fruit, but is a bit watery. (Note to self: Fifteen seconds is too short.) The second steep is a bit more intensely fruity, with hints of grapes and baked apple. The next couple steeps get even more intense; tangy stewed fruit, baked bread, and particularly honey are the dominant flavours. Despite being brewed with boiling water, this Gui Fei isn’t astringent, as many others seem to be.

In the next few steeps, the liquor evens out into a gentle honey nectar. There are still baked bread and stewed fruit notes, but they’re secondary. Even the final few rounds are sweet and not vegetal or astringent, though some woodiness and dryness sneak in.

This is basically my ideal Gui Fei. It’s sweet, decadent, and undemanding, with all of the flavours I like and no off notes. Bug-bitten tea aficionados may find it a little predictable, but then again, that’s not always a bad thing.

Flavors: Apple, Bread, Floral, Grapes, Honey, Raisins, Stewed Fruits, Tangy, Wood

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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