Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #36 - Panyong Congou

A few years ago, I purchased some Rose Congou tea and was so impressed with my "Congou black tea" -- until I realized that Congou simply means a grade of black tea! Oh well, live and learn ...

Category: Black Tea

Purveyor: Upton Tea

Dry leaf appearance: Dark, almost black, twiggy bits of tea leaf.

Wet leaf appearance: Lumpy looking when steeped, almost like coffee grounds.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 4 minutes.

Scent: The dry tea simply smelled like strong black tea. The steeped tea's scent reminded me of Keemun teas.

Color: Coppery brown.

Flavor: This tea was just a good solid cup of black tea. I had a bit of a puckery feeling after I drank the cup, so I tried a second cup with a bit of milk and enjoyed it even more.

Additional notes: Michael Harney enlightens on the word "Congou," which he says is "a corruption of the Chinese words 'Gong Fu,' or 'Kung Fu,' which mean 'Highest Mastery.' A tea trade classification for Chinese black teas with this particular twisted shape, the word refers to the masterful skill required to produce the teas by hand." (Today they're mostly machine made, he says.)

Next week's tea:
Keemun Mao Feng


  1. This sounds like a tea that I would enjoy. I like Keemun with its hint of smokiness and robust black teas. Thanks for your interesting review of Panyong Congou.

  2. Thanks for the review. The picture of the dry tea reminded me of potting soil for some reason.

  3. Congou an alteration of "Gong Fu." I've never before heard of the term used for tea processing instead of steeping, as it's commonly used here in America with tea lovers. --Spirituality of Tea


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