I can’t believe I missed posting on my 2 year anniversary….but more than that, I can’t believe it’s been 2 years! 2 years, some $800 (I keep track, because I’m a nerd) and a whole bunch of fun.
Steep notes for this: 4 tsp. leaf, 8 oz. milk, 8 oz. water, 1.5 tsp. honey, below parameters.
I went ahead and followed normal chai preparation for this instead of verdant’s recommendations, mostly because of Bonnie’s (and others) notes. I’m sure I’ll give it a try plain, since dan cong is my most favorite oolong, but first I wanted to test out the chai part of the name.
Dry I have no problem getting the spices and dan cong notes, and the combination is really unusual. I can’t decide if it works or not, so I’ll steep it up and see, I guess! If I didn’t know to look for the chocolate I’m not sure I would have been able to get it – as it was I kind of had to hold the bag at just the right angle to get a hint of it in the smell.
Despite the steep time, the leaves imparted almost no color into the milk/water. Just a light tan, which surprised me given the amount of leaf I used. The taste was unmistakably dan cong, though – and pretty fantastic, at that!
Before I added the honey (when it was just milk and tea) was the only time the chocolate showed up in the taste, and it was mostly a bitter dark note, that I didn’t really like with the honeyed notes of the dan cong. I think adding the honey to sweeten worked out well in my case because it managed to both overwhelm that chocolate and bring out the base even more.
The spice in this is very mild and balanced. I normally like my chai with more bite, but I think the honey, peachy dan cong makes up for the gentle spiciness. I thought it worked out well, honey to complement the base, milk to complement the chai. A very unusual combination that works really well!