I’ve always meant to order some of TTC’s Gui Fei, but demurred due to mixed reviews. Thanks, Derk, for the generous sample. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of honey, baked cinnamon bread, and fruit leather. The first steep has notes of honey, baked bread, grass, and stewed fruit. The next adds autumn leaf pile, apricot, raisins, and slight astringency, though the honey is still the star. In steep three, sandalwood, cinnamon, and a bit of roast emerge, and the autumn leaf pile flavour is stronger. The fourth steep is a lott less sweet, with roast, wood, pine, autumn leaf pile, grain, and honey. By the sixth steep, the roast is really asserting itself, accompanied by black tea-like minerals and malt. The session ends with nuts, honey, minerals, and roast.

While this Gui Fei is quirky and enjoyable, as LuckyMe pointed out, it’s more like a Dong Ding than a honey oolong. I might still pick this up, however, because it’s so affordable, but the strong roast detracts from it being truly amazing.

Flavors: Apricot, Astringent, Autumn Leaf Pile, Bread, Cinnamon, Grain, Grass, Honey, Malt, Mineral, Nuts, Pine, Raisins, Roasted, Stewed Fruits, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 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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