Dan Cong (the pureitea) from Quiltguppy-
Dry: rich scent of nectarines, lush fruity sweetness
Wet: yuzu, grapefruit pith, citrus, osmanthus
Leaf: long twisted, oxidized-umber hued leaves that when steeped, blushes evergreen and somber.
Cup: With a luminous, grapefruit yellow-green liquor, this Dan Cong resembles the Elegant Beauty I purchased a while back, but without the deep reddish veins and leaf color. The aroma is distinctly nectarine and the first steep offered a cup that was very flavor complex, with citrus notes ranging from grapefruit, to orange pith, to Japanese yuzu. Sweet and fruit fleshy in its texture, it rolls across the palate with a citrus pith like flavor that never manifests as expected bitterness and instead keeps bringing fruit to mind and remains sweet and lush. The first steep is fresh and lingering, citrus flavor dance around the palate. The second finds the sweetness slithering next to the notes of grapefruit, but another flavor begins to elusively assert itself. By the 3rd steeping, yuzu and osmanthus flavors begin to meld in the front, separating in the linger, allowing osmanthus to fill the mouth with floral and exotic aftertastes. I admit in the first extraction, there was a creaminess that I harkened to Thai durian pudding (without of course the ‘distinctive’ and ‘acquired’ taste profile). I can see this sitting well next to dishes spiced with galangal, orchids, or Szechuan peppercorns, or served next to chilled lychees.
Brewing: used 3g in a traditional 8oz Taiwanese gaiwan, steeped in 195 degree water for 3-4 minutes, with extraction times increasing and water temp cooling with subsequent extraction.
Thank you so much for sending me this lovely sample. It was a beautiful and unexpected gift!
**I definitly see how the influence of the Wu Yi area and pheonix oolong traditions filter into this tea and I imagine the mineral content of the soil is giving this tea its unusual complexity. I don’t know if I agree with the bittersweet chocolate/walnut descriptions, but can imagine that the teas profile with change with time and storage.