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Recent Tasting Notes
Lasted 2 days drinking it per:
“Fragile ginger flavor and a sweet aftertaste”
“Gentle brewing seems to help with this tea”; so my mindless random steeping times led sometimes to astringency
“wonderfully delicate … not the most complex or the most powerful tea, but it does not waver in its subtlety or clarity of flavor.*
“Phoenix tea is one of the most difficult tea to brew. No matter a light, medium or high fired; aged, new harvested; Ming Cong, plantation; High mountain, low river side; Rock based, or just plain red earth….etc. " teachat Postby TIM » Jan 7th, ’09, 16:20
This review is for the 2014 harvest.
While this is a dancong, it resembles a pouchong because of the floral notes and brightness. Yet at the same time it as the characteristics of a roasted oolong because of the color. The darker color doesn’t add any notes you would expect though which was quite a surprise as I was expecting a stronger tea. To be honest: This is one of the most gentle cups of tea I’ve had in a long time. Between the mouth feel and taste, this is a beautiful leaf. The liquid has little aroma and the taste is very delicate. This is one of those teas you have to drink slowly and think about the taste right after to realize exactly what you just tasted; unlike stronger teas that kind o punch your taste buds.
Tea Habitat being included for the 2nd or 3rd group buy in 2016… maybe :)
Years ago I was given a jasmine oolong from Guangdong, that was one of the teas that set me on my tea journey. It was wonderful mix of jasmine scent and oolong fruitiness. Over the years I have suffered through many jasmine scented teas looking for that tea. They are always the same — over powering jasmine perfume that completely covers the tea. Until now. This tea is what I’ve been looking for all these years and its not even a scented tea — jasmine never touched this tea. The fragrance of the liqueur is like walking through a garden and catching the smell of jasmine in full bloom. But the taste is a slight cream with the orchid taste fans of Dan Cong oolongs love. Jasmine flavor follows, but the quality of the tea shines through. Mouth feel is wonderful with long satisfying after taste. A gaiwan will make the jasmine more pronounce while a clay pot gives you more fruit and a subtle jasmine — a Chao Zhou pot gives you a wonderful balance of fruit, cream, jasmine, & orchid.
I have tried all different ways of brewing and drinking this. The flavor I brought out was wonderful, but nothing like the depth and richness brewed into it by Imen, at Tea Habitat. I clearly haven’t learned to brew tea yet.
Brewed from water stored in a clay vessel, and into a clay water pot, over a small clay charcoal stove, into a teapot made from clay from the same region as the tea…..well, it creates a layer of flavor and depth to the tea that must be tasted to be believed.
Earthy, full, and grounding. 10 plus infusions still yielded a tea that still had wonderful flavor, as it lessened in color. Brewed Gongfu style in a Yixing tea pot, it is said to be able to take 20 plus infusions and still be flavorful, even when brewed clear in color. The effect of this tea is felt on the whole body, as you drink each infusion you may notice different effects.
I always really enjoy this. It’s wonderful, and the people I share it with agree. It’s not hard to brew, either. Good to the last possible sip, and the aroma in the cup is still something I linger over, when it’s done.
I use a Brita filter on my faucet, and for many things, it’s fine. But for the oolongs I have been exploring, the water seemed to be getting in the way. I’m so over bottled water, and I don’t live by a stream……So lately I have been using a piece of bamboo charcoal in the kettle, when I boil water for tea or miso soup. It seems to act as a filter, and also mineralize the water, to some extent. It’s made a huge difference, with the results being amazing pots of tea. Should have tried this long ago.
Just got started with this one, a little late in the day, so it’s going to have to wait overnight for a full tasting. The first couple of infusions, leaf enough to fill my little yixing Dan Cong pot about 60% full at this point, and water about 195 degrees, were quite brief—pour in, pour out. They show layers of sweet floral flavor, peach and lychee, quite delicate and lovely, and promising for more tomorrow.
Several more infusions, still mostly quite brief—had to dilute on accidental minute-long infusion several fold to get back to the concentration that makes me happy, and it did make me quite happy. Sweet, fruity, floral, but not the degree of spiciness that I associate with my favorites of the Dan Congs. More when I’ve reached the bottom of this tea….
Edit again: I never finished the post, but I did finish the tea—the leaves stopped making interesting infusion somewhere between the 20th and 25th infusions.
First time I’ve tried this tea: it’s a lovely tea, delicate and richly floral. I didn’t weigh the tea first, not really trying for a formal review, or take notes infusion by infusion, but it’s already apparent, about six infusions in, that this is a very friendly and forgiving sort. If it were less pricey, I’d call it a good beginner’s Dan Cong.
Editing to add some morning after impressions—still infusing the same leaves, left in the teapot overnight: spicy notes coming to the fore this morning: cinnamon & cloves along with the floral. Very nice.
Sweet and caramelicious, as described. Very very smooth and delicious. I’m brewing a little more than a gram of tea in a tiny yixing pot, water about 185 degrees for a start, amazing lovely stuff. This would make an excellent ‘starter’ Dan Cong—hard to imagine it going wrong in any unpleasant way. 3 infusions in, still very lovely. Sweet, caramel, fruity—stewed fruit rather than fresh, perhaps—and just a hint of spice.
Back many infusions later—infusions 30 seconds or more now, water 205 degrees, and still delicious—the spiciness is to the fore more now, and still sweet and rich, but a little thinner. Quite a lovely tea.
Stunning initial sweet fruity scent when put into the preheated Chao Zhou teapot. Unfortunately I forgot to weigh the tea beforehand.
And the tea lives up to the preview aroma: superbly fragrant, sweet, fruity, delicious first infusion at 10 seconds. Very little change yet at the third very brief infusion. Gorgeous stuff.
Up to the 6th or 7th—lost track. Still keeping infusions fairly short, this one will be about 20 seconds. Have to set it aside for now, more later!
Now on to the 12th or so, after the poor leaves had to sit overnight. Some of the wonder was definitely lost in the sitting overnight, but still, this sweetwater phase is pretty sweet—nudging the rating up a bit more. LOVE this one.
If it were any more intensely aromatic and floral it would be too much—it’s right up there, close to the line that divides ‘fantastic!’ from ‘like drinking shampoo, yuck!’, waving at all the jasmines that went too far into undrinkability.
arômes liqueur: fumé à l’attaque, miel, fruité,végétal, minéral,lacté
texture: lisse, doux
saveurs:légèrement sucré, sans amertume
longueur en bouche sur notes végétales et minérales
Préparation: 2g (échantillon complet fourni par Imen) /zhong 7cl/(100°C,15");(95°,10");(95°,15");(95°,20");(95°,30")
au bout de ces infusions les feuilles sont toujours repliées. Méthode d’infusion pas optimale, à améliorer.
Burying my nose in this packet of tea struck me with a strong whiff of real orchid scent. It wasn’t overpowering, but delightful and sweet. I brewed up 3g in a 90ml pot for short bursts, and the tea can’t be described with anything but “amazing.” The liquor is a warm gold, with a distinct silky feel to it that I was surprised to detect in such a clear tea. At first, the honey notes bowled me over, but with careful steeping this eventually shifts to airy florals. It is very easy to brew this one too light and get no fragrance, or too long and go too bitter, but dedication is so so rewarding. You can seriously sit all day with this tea, and not be disappointed.
I’m now several sessions in with this tea, and still don’t have a good formal tasting session where I’ve kept track of grams of tea and infusion times. I can say for sure that I can detect the resemblance to osmanthus, that it is floral, sweet, fruity, and tart; that it is possible to get a bitter infusion out of it, but I have to push it very hard, because it is a very forgiving tea; that it can yield many infusions, because I’m sure this batch is probably at least at 15 if not 20 infusions—I’ve refilled the kettle twice to at least the one liter mark, there is still half a liter in it, and it wasn’t entirely empty when I started this one; and that it is delicious brewed in a thin porcelain gaiwan as well as in a Chao Zhou pot from Tea Habitat. Good stuff. I will put the leaves to bed now but if I weren’t going home for the evening I’d try for another handful of long infusions.