This is actually a backlog from yesterday night. I went to the Dogwood Festival in ATL yesterday because the boyfriend was meeting up with friends from work. It was just one of those days where everything is an uphill battle and generally things don’t go as planned. We had a terrible experience in a restaurant, got sunburned in April, and spent an hour trying to find a parking spot. The reward? Huge crowds of people with no concept of personal space.
Yay, my favorite! – she says, sarcastically.
So my nerves were shot by the time we got home and I wanted something to calm me down. When I perused my cupboard and saw I hadn’t even opened this (?!) and it was a Dan Cong it was game on.
Dry leaf: Honeyed and sweet smelling. Dark, slightly malty and heavy, very much like a black tea. No trace of salt/ocean air, which I normally get in the scent of a dry Dan cong leaf. I don’t mind though – the smell is already starting to calm me down and I haven’t even steeped it up yet.
Steep notes: 5 g. in Midori (my 4 oz. gaiwan). Rinsed x2 as directed on the Verdant website.
1st steep: 10 seconds, the taste is honey/nectary with that definitive lingering peach aftertaste. This is astringent mostly when it’s hot – as it cools that seems to fade away and the sweet peachiness remains. The liquor is a pale peach color as well. Even though I did boiling water like Verdant recommends, the leaf now smells a bit burned…I really did love the smell of it dry and am sad it went away.
2nd steep: 15 seconds. This steep was lighter in color but more fruity than honeyed. Whereas in the first step the fruity character remained predominately in the aftertaste, it is apparent throughout the entire sip. I’m getting the saltwater tang in the scent of the liquor now. Makes me wish I was by a beach for sure.
3rd steep: 30 seconds. There’s a bit of pepper in this steep. Still very fruity and the liquor is not as intense in flavor in the previous iteration.
4th steep: 50 seconds. The astringency is stronger with this steep. Still a strong peach quality though it seems a bit more muted this go around.
5th, 6th, 7th steeps (1:30, 3:00, and 7:00 respectively) Each of these steeps tasted pretty samey to me…that is, nothing really stuck out that was different than the preceding steeps. Fruity, roasty goodness.
I’m so glad I found this last night. I’ll have to try this Western style and see how it compares (see if I get the salty/savory note a bit more) but having it gong fu style was just the perfect way to undo all the crazy of my day. Tea for the win, as always!