Thanks to David and the awesome folks at Verdant I got my January Reserve club tea shipment despite the address mix-up. I have been waiting until the weekend so that I could devote some time to these teas, and here it is. I decided to go with this one first.
The dry leaf is long and twisted dark strands, definitely beautiful. I put my 6g into my 6oz teapot and exhaled into it then breathed in to get a good aroma. The smell I have come to associate with dancong was there (roasted grains, wet minerals), but also an intense fruitiness. I thought apricot at first, and then I read David’s description and lychee fits as well. I could smell this for a while! But I did a quick rinse (as fast as I can pour the water in and out) and then a short 4 second steep.
The flavor was primarily fruity, with the lychee very prominent, with a kind of roasted cinnamon in the background. I got a sense of juiciness, and a slight tingling sensation in my mouth that lingered long afte the sip. The next few steeps were less fruity and more minerally, and with growing florals. A little later some of the fruity notes returned, this time accompanied by hints of cacao.
Definitely a real experience. Did this tea blow my mind? No, but I don’t tend to be super into dancongs. The fact that I enjoyed it as much as I did really says a lot for this tea. I’m glad I got to experience this one!