Review: Canton Tea Co. Bai Lin Gong Fu

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co. Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"My new favourite Chinese black tea."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.6/10
Other Teaviews: Jamie gave it 7.5/10, Vanessa gave it 8/10, Sophie gave it 9.5/10, Chelsy gave it 8.2/10, Nicole gave it 10/10, Jamie gave it 10/10
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cantonteabailinAs with many of Canton's teas, this is from Fujian. The bronze and brown leaves smell intense, with notes of tobacco, honey, smoke, and fruit. I steep two teaspoons in one cup at 175° for two minutes, which is what Canton recommends and, ironically, is not a gong fu brew. So that's weird.

The rich brown liquor smells of malt, berries, and honey. The texture is rich, velvety smooth, and oily, coating the mouth and making the sweet and smoky aftertaste linger. Despite the robust mouthfeel, the flavour is surprisingly subtle, with notes of caramel, smoke, bitter chocolate. It's subdued and mellow, but not quiet. Despite its softness, it has presence. By my 4-minute third steep, the liquor is still surprisingly dark and shockingly smooth. It's sweet and delicious.

I love bold Chinese black gong fu teas, I do. But I can't drink them often or much at a time because they settle so heavily, so I tend to stick with tippy Yunnan teas. Usually by the end of a gong fu session, even when prepped in my smallest vessel, I'm overwhelmed with flavour and tannins and often feel sick. But with this tea, you get all the texture of a heavy black without the weight. It's interesting and has character, but the flavour isn't overwhelming or too bold. It's the perfect balance for me, though if you want a hardcore cup, it may not be for you. Personally, I think I've found my new favourite Chinese black tea.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Bai Lin Gong Fu, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

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