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  • Writer's pictureNeldon Hamblin

"Autumn Love"- 2018 Gongmei white from Gold Mountain Tea

Hello friends and tea-heads! For my first review, I thought I'd post about a tea I'm really loving lately. I placed an order from Gold Mountain Teas and this was one of the teas I was excited about. Described as being "a 2018 Gong Mei white tea from Fu Ding, Fu Jian Province, China" and "notes of wet autumn leaves, licorice root, and a hint of maple syrup", I had to try it. At $12 for 30g, the price comes out to be roughly $0.40/g, a great price for an aged white tea, and a price I was willing to drop on trying this.

I used my fairly standard gongfu brewing parameters but went a bit heavier on the leaf, using 10g for my 150ml gaiwan. So, without further ado, let's get into this review.

Brewing parameters:

10g leaf/150ml gaiwan

100°C/212°F water

8-second rinse

Rinse and first steep:

Smelling the dry leaves: sweet but grassy, very vegetal, as if someone took and coated a hay bale in honey

Smelling the warmed leaves in the gaiwan: syrup, hay, sugarcane

Smelling the wet leaves: licorice, honey, sugarcane, alfalfa, grassy notes

The rinse and first steep are rather typical for a white tea, being very light in color and vegetal. However, the aroma is quite intense and I can tell there is some wonderful sweetness lurking in these leaves.

2nd through 5th steeps:

Wow. That color is like liquid gold. This is a nice, thick gongmei. I mean, I was able to get the tea above-the-rim! It looks like honey.

Tastes: alfalfa, maple syrup, crisp cool air. Sugared pumpkin flesh, licorice root and aniseed; slight astringency; shortbread and honey were noted, very very sweet tea. I love this!!

Sometimes, smells can elicit memories as a response. This tea was one of those times... drinking it reminds me of working for Black Island Farms (a local agrotourism farm that operates during the Halloween season) and sitting on top of the hay bale slides during autumn, with the leaves reminding me of the smell of the air and the fresh country air. I think the nostalgia influences the way I perceive this tea and I'm perfectly fine with that. After all, the best teas in the world are ones that you enjoy and ones that provoke memories long thought dormant.

Verdict: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I would definitely recommend picking this up, either for drinking now or for aging. This tea is honey-sweet and is a real treat that hits well above its price point. At $12/30g, this tea clocks in at $0.40/g. It tastes like one that's been aging for longer than 3 years and the description is very accurate. The maple syrup flavor comes through strong and makes this tea a real winner in my book.

Disclaimer: I purchased this tea myself. All views are my own and are not influenced by the company whatsoever. My reviews will be always be fair and accurate to what I taste, regardless of if the tea was given to me to review or if I purchased it. My tastebuds cannot be bought. 😊

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