I am truly enjoying this Bai Lin Gong Fu - a Fujian black tea, one of the oldest produced in the region, as offered by TeaVivre. Many may recognize Gong Fu as a steeping method, but in a larger sense, it simply refers to something done skillfully, which is a nod to the attention paid to the processing.
The dry leaf is black, blended with some golden tips, which might explain its smoothness. Very strong notes of dark chocolate and caramel, but not sickeningly-sweet. Some spice in the secondary notes. Not very astringent.
You could serve this to a non-tea-afficionado and they might have trouble recognizing it as a black tea. It's a pure-leaf tea, but it tastes as if I just finished a bite of dark chocolate and followed it with a sip of a very, very mild keemun. The chocolate note is so prevalent, there are some who might also detect wine notes. I prefer to pretend I'm drinking chocolate.
According to Teavivre, it's also relatively low in caffeine as compared to coffee, so it would make an attractive evening tea as winter settles in. Comforting, a hint of warm spice, relaxing chocolate lingering on the palate. There's not much else to wish for as the snow begins to fly! I will be adding Bai Lin Gong Fu to my wish list for my next purchase.