Thursday, March 22, 2007

Anodyne on High Congou (Gao Gong Fu) from Silk Road Teas

Silk Road Teas High Congou (Gao Gong Fu), numbered B-HC-1, is a pleasant enough China black (red) tea with hints of chocolate and spice and a sweetness that carries into the cup.

I tried this tea in 2005 and wasn't all that impressed. I liked it better the second time around. There is the same issue of getting enough leaf in the cup to get the flavors and aromas to emerge. When I "over-leafed" in 2005, the cup got rather astringent according to my notes. But without enough leaf, it was drinking rather thinly in 2005.

I actually found myself liking this tea better when I first purchased a 1/4 lb bag in January 2007. Now I am back to finding it pleasant, but I am not quite as enthused as I was in my January tastings. It may simply reflect my mercurial tea cravings rather than anything to do with the tea itself.

I first made this by the pot and found it pleasant if a bit subdued in flavors and aroma. Brewing by the cup brought forth more than I experienced in my first trial run. The cup has a more expansive dark bitter cocoa and slightly spicy aroma. The toasty-grain notes are much more pronounced in the cup, and the sweetness definitely meanders into the finish. If you get too much leaf or brew too long, the tea does develop a “pinging” metallic note against the toasty-grain that can distract from the other more pleasant flavor notes. There is both a metallic note in taste as well as the astringency factor. I used about two level teaspoons of leaf in 6 ounce cup, water to boiling, three minutes.

In taste profile, this is actually somewhat like the Yangxian Hong teas. See March 9, 2007, Anodyne on Yangxian Hong.


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