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Recent Tasting Notes
Re-reviewing this tea as I now have worked out how to steep it to my tastes, now, when using 1/2 the gaiwan full of leaf and flash steeping, the tea is making me happier.
Before, I was getting a watery liquor with a lot of charcoal.
with more leaf and flash steeps, the charcoal seems to have hit a ceiling and the body is now coming up to meet it, resulting in a much better cup.
It is still very dark chocolate, but nice dark chocolate instead of not.
also, it is easy to overbrew this one, resulting in bitter dark chocolate. again, with the flash steep method its still nice bitter dark chocolate rather than not.
Im finding it hard to get over the image of a burnt forest whenever I drink this. It still hasnt got the butter or oil of my other oolongs – really is somewhere on its own when my brain categorises it against my other wuyi or dancong. But it is very moreish. a slight sharpness and life bounces on my tongue during the huiguan, making me want to have another cup. – sometimes this sharpness is really forward if overbrewed
With a bit of time taking to get to know it, it is a nice tea for lovers of 80%+ dark chocolate, bitter chocolate & dark, burnt woods. its totally bold in this, a good horror novel tea perhaps?
Also, the price is very reasonable, maybe a good choice for someone who likes to age their tea, thus mellowing it a bit. – I dont have any experience with this, from what understand, this bold, sometimes slightly bitter-chocolate roast is the part that will mellow over time
Synaesthetic note: Blackened Burnt forest after rain
Flavors: Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Roasted
Its a good Xing Ren. Almond aroma and taste, with a slick, oily texture. Thoughts of a dark forest, with bushes & trees. Oolong like this is my perfect horror novel tea :)
I like brewing western style, and as the liquid cools the tea takes on a more bushy form, almost gaining a jade oolong taste. its a nice mix, to start off dark brown, and end up greener. if you get my drift. It always has the almond oil thing going on though, so doesnt ever deviate completely from its nature, but nice to have these other thoughts going on, especially when reading the spooky stuff!
some hints of milk as an aftertaste lingering on my palette
id like to add that these woody tastes are really subtle thoughts, hidden in the oil. not as strong as something like an eight immortals, or other darker Oolongs i have tried, defo on the buttery/oily side of things.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Dark Wood, Forest Floor, Green Wood, Milk, Vegetal, Wet wood
Ok, JingTeaShop -
I absolutely love this tea. its my favourite of the famous dan congs, and my favourite of yours (so far – im still only tried small amount of your stock) really easy to brew – to experiment ive just brewed 3g/2 minutes in my gaiwan just to see how it would do and its, not great, but any others would have been horrid, and this is still drinkable.
to me its the most balanced of the dan congs i have tried with regards to roasty smoke, oily butter, flowery orchid. lovely stuff.
for $33 for 100g, this is now my go-to Oolong, which was the experiment, to see which cheaper ones would make up for the stuff i buy for a LOT LOT more in the UK. – so extra points because of how cheap it is compared to those. Just so good.
Flavors: Butter, Leather, Orchid, Smoke, Wood
Gongfu style for 15secs
First steep not much going on really!
second steep and the leaves havent even unfurled – this one for 30 secs – milky aroma & quite a ‘hard water’ taste? like there isnt much of a jade oil thing going on. Slight vegetal taste, and a tiny aroma of sweetness, like candy floss.
Astringency started to appear, and a smell that reminds me of greeness & kale.
3rd steep much the same but less flavour.
Its more reasonable at $35/100g than my other Jade Oolongs, and compared to the other ‘Iron goddess’ I have tried which was heaped with so much Jasmine it made me feel sick, this one is a lot better. It doesnt seem to have the magic taste that my Da Yu Lings have (but they are a lot more expensive), but it has a nice head feeling, so im happy.
and happy that I can try other Iron Goddess now without worry about the added jasmine!
edit* did a much longer steep and managed to extract some jade magic out of this one. I like it!
Flavors: Cotton Candy, Kale, Milk, Vegetal
Aha! The famous duck shit aroma. I had read about Ya Shi being not very nice, and actually bought this one by accident, just using the description on the website.
Im glad I did, for two reasons -
One: its very interesting, (read: totally lovely)
Two: Made me realise how nicely kinaesthetic tea is to me. I struggle to think of what the flavours & aromas are sometimes, I don’t have the breadth of knowledge of smell that some of the reviewers here have (Amanda Wilson im looking at you). But I do have a kinaesthetic way of thinking about sound, taste & aroma, by way of colours generally in day-to-day life. And this one I just couldn’t describe apart from it is just so goddamn purple. with black & white stripes.
Imagine a lovely oily Dan Cong, but wearing a stripey gown made out of purple & black velvet, with silky white trim. That is how the aroma smells. Maybe its because I dont know the flower (maybe? definitely). But because ive got no point of reference I just get a burst of colour information thats bloody marvellous. The oil is rich, full, delicious, with a silky fuzzy aroma, that when i exhale through my nose, reminds me of something else thats also delicious. AND then its the aroma of the steeped leaves that really floors me again. I am just inhaling it over and over again, then sipping on the oily liquor. Its really that nice. Inhale – beautiful sweet, rich, aroma of purple velvet, sip – gorgeous oily liquor of silky creamy something, exhale – delicious something or other. It really feels like an old tree Oolong that’s mastered it’s craft.
There emanates a creamy aroma present from the liquor in the second & third steeps, and a gorgeous mellow chaqi cloud thats enveloped my head with an almost caramel feeling. I absolutely love the huiguan you get from certain Dancong. Grapes, astringency, more grapes, then i sit down and realise how nice the feeling is. “purple haze, all in my brain” comes into my head. It even selects good music to play. haha.
Later steeps lost their vibrancy which was a shame, but I kept going because I just wanted to rinse the chaqi to see where it would go, and in doing so I oversteeped and made it bitter. Only five seconds too much, but it was enough. Grapes huiguan became grapes with pips huiguan. (well, not that bad but you get the idea) and after that the sweetness was lost and I finished.
So yeah, I really like this one. You need to brew it correctly. I generally have Allan K’s 5,5,7,10,15,30 in my head as a starting point, and try to adjust, but alas I wanted too much than it was willing to give, turning the 15 into 20, using water too close to boiling and ruining it a bit…. Booooo…. Or, maybe quack?
Still, that first few steeps were totally gorgeous, and for me, who usually gets images of recognisable things like plants, places, foods & drinks from tea aroma, its like absorbing a piece of abstract modern art. A big swooshy purple thing that swooshes into your brain. SO good.
Decided to take a break from my daily morning puerh ritual and brew me some Dancong. It must be well over a year since I had any oolong at all so I searched my cupbord and found this one hiding in the corner, still wrapped up in a foil bag. For me Jing Tea Shop is my “go to” place for oolongs, especially Dancong. Their Milan AAA is delightful (I still have half a bag left from their 2012 Spring press) and I remember this one also being excellent. The Song Zhong Dancong is definitely one of their pricier teas…I remember paying about $50 for a 50 gram bag.
Anyway, I decided to steep 6 grams in my 130ml yixing to see how things have come along. Here are my notes…
Strong, fruity aroma from the dry leaves…still smells good. I don’t bother rinsing the leaves but do my first proper steep at roughly 10 seconds. Before sipping I smell the wet leaves…VERY fruity, acidic citrus aromas, zesty lemon? Sipping the first steep I am reminded why I always bought Dancong from Jing…it is excellent. Nice and smooth, great balance of sweet honey and citrus fruitiness, slight nutty textures, mild “dry mouth” affect that brings out more complex flavours that end up dancing on your tongue and at the back of the throat, VERY long finish.
Several steeps go by and it is more of the same…massive bursts of fruits…beginning to feel some nice energy coming from this, not really calming but more aggressive in nature. I think it’s strongest characteristic is its long finish, as all the complex flavours keep your mouth and tongue “entertained” for ages. Monitoring steeping times I feel is rather important because if you steep for too long the fruity tones negates all the returning sweetness. Good durability in this one as well…you can steep multiple times which yield the same excellent results.
So, this is an excellent example of a Dancong done right. It is just as good as I remember it to be. However, there is a slight sting in the tale. I love puerh too much now that other teas become a little insignificant. It certainly made a nice change, but come this evening I will be going back to drinking the tea that completely changed my way of thinking on what tea really is all about. In my opinion nothing will beat the joy of drinking a great, high quality puerh. It’s the little things that matter…the ritual of carefully breaking apart a cake or tuo, the differing contrasts between sheng and shu, wet and dry storage, differences between young and aged, and also the transformation that happens when a puerh suprises you after aging it for a while. I am simply addicted to puerh!
Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Sweet
Received as a sample from Jing Tea Shop with an order of some assorted (mostly white) teas.
Amber color. Very smoky, earthy, peaty. Maybe I didn’t steep it for long enough, but it doesn’t seem as heavy as most black teas. Complex and very interesting. Unfortunately, doesn’t re-steep very well.
Flavors: Clay, Earth, Peat, Smoke, Tobacco
Origine: Fu Jian Province
Harvesting area: Inner Wu Yi
Harvesting: ~ 600 meters above sea level
Plantation altitude: Spring 2012
Tea varietal: Shui Xian
This Wu Yi Shui Xian was heavily fermented and baked with hard wood charcoal thus making it a oolong tea that can be stored for a few years.
Eye: Light amber
Nose: Toasty, flowery, touch of acidity and sweetness
Mouth: Medium thick tea liquor, mild acidity, flowery, good freshness, long and sweet aftertaste
I copied most recent info on this tea sample i got.
This tea is great. Toasty, roasty, sweet, stone fruit notes, raw nuts(cashew?) and some cannabis. Long lingering sweet aftertaste.
6g 100ml gaiwan 195F
Another tea from my recent order Jing Tea Shop. Spring 2012
I like this tea. its not as complex as Mi Lan Dancong. But i shouldn’t even compare them.
It seems like its medium roast. dont think this tea is old. thru reading TeaDB i found it gets better after a year
Anyway, this tea is yummy. its rich with dried fruits with cinnamon( very nice ,not overwhelming). Gongfu method 6g 100ml gaiwan 200F
Many short steeps of 5/10/15sec.
I cant say its my fav because its the only one i tried. i would like to compare it to other Rou Gui.
I’m so impressed with this tea. Unfortunately due to my inexperience with Dancong
I probably won’t be able to do the proper review.
I’ll try to do what I can. It’s incredible. It’s like fruit cocktail (. I’m not even able to pinpoint every one). Lychee, mango, pineapple, maybe cherry. Some raw nuts. Around 4th steep some bitterness creeped. But nothing offensive. And loooong sweet aftertaste lingering in my mouth.
Gongfu 6g 100ml 195F
Many 5/10/15 secs
Highly recommended, thanks apt!
I was smitten today. This tea is like nothing I tried in my life.
4g 100ml 195F
Leaves are long. Maybe like an inch on average and some longer
Smells intoxicating. I’m very new to this type of tea so it’s hard to describe all the notes. Overall it’s like drinking semi sweet champaign .
So glad I ordered from JTS. Thank you apt for recommending
Revisited. This tea is delicious. in my previous note i used 4g, this time 5g. thats my ratio nowdays 5g for 100ml. as previously mentioned its citrusy, longan, grapes and raw nuts. Still love it. i would restock at some point
I got my order today. I was so excited because I got 3 tea packages after “starvation” mode.
This tea. It’s very complex,changing from one steep to another.
4g 100 ml gaiwan 205F
The leaves are midnight black, very thin and very long like Daddy long legs. Scale to the rescue.
First steep was pale yellow, longan or grapes, juicy and some raw nuts,maybe cashew?
Second steep was totally different. Smelled like brownie, tasted like brownie with some faint cherry note
Later steeps were more citrusy, like grapefruit, longan came back with more cherry note pronounced. Some steeps were kinda floral in Darjeeling way.
This tea was quite an experience. Rich, multifaceted , satisfying
Thank you apt for suggesting me Jing Tea Shop. I’m very excited to try new teas.
My first Lion Mt dragonwell and I am stunned. Literally zero bitterness, all sweetness and the most complex flavor profile of any green tea, it changed in my mouth like a good oolong. The taste started out like sweet peas then slightly creamy then crisp almost lemon/lime like. Later steepings revealed a asparagus after taste that was superb. Just when I thought green tea was boring and 1 dimensional the tea that was described to me as the “chinese gyokuro” came along. This is truly my new favorite tea and i am already anxious that it is only obtainable late april early may yearly.
Flavors: Asparagus, Peas