Appearance, Flavor & Aroma:
This Fujian Black tea is an attractive mix of twisted, black leaves and gold buds. The aroma of the dry leaves is sweet with a hint of caramel. When infused, the deep red infusion carries the caramel-sweetness from the dry leaves into an almost creamy-sweet aroma. In the cup, it produces is a super-smooth, mellow and sweet infusion with a long, soft, sweet aftertaste with a hint of caramel and just a touch of cocoa.
Bai Lin Gong Fu is a black tea that comes from the mountainous area near Bai Lin Zhen (Bai Lin town) in Fuding County, Fujian Province. It is said to be one of the earliest black teas produced in China for export to Europe.
About the Name:
Bai Lin means “White Jade,” and “Gong Fu” means something that has been done/made with skill. There are two explanations for the “Gong Fu” designation that I have come across. One common explanation for the gong fu designation has to do with the fact that this is a tea that requires great skill to process correctly. The other story says that when this style of black tea became popular in the domestic market, most people assumed that it was a type of oolong because of the long, twisted leaf shape (similar in appearance to Wuyi and Fenghuang Oolongs), so people automatically infused it using the Gong Fu method like they would with an oolong. Either way, the name Gong Fu stuck with this tea style, so we have Bai Lin Gong Fu.
For Gongfu steeping, start with about 7 grams of tea in a 150 ml Gaiwan or teapot, and begin your steeping process with a 20-30 second steep using 190-195°F water. Gradually increase the steeping time and temp with each subsequent infusion.
Western Style: use approximately 1.5-2 tsp per cup (2-3g), water just under a boil and a 3-4 minute infusion time. Please be sure to adjust the amount of leaf, steeping time, and/or water temperature according to your taste.