This is a wonderful, brilliant tea. Spicy, fruity, sweet, and with complexity and depth to carry through many infusions.
I have generally given up before the tea has, somewhere around 20 to 25 infusions.
The dry leaves are long, twisted, and open up into reddish green when infused. They don’t smell like much until they hit the prewarmed infusion vessel, and then the scent starts to grow strong and exotic. The spicy scent remains in the leaves after many infusions, promising more goodness to come.
I use about 1 gram of leaf per ounce or 30mL water, use a small yixing or gaiwan, and keep infusing over hours or leave the leaves overnight, do a flash rinse with boiling water, and keep going the next day. Water 185-195 degrees, and infusions that start at about 15 seconds but later extend to a couple of minutes. You do have to watch this one—it is not quite as friendly as the Honey Orchid “commercial” Dan Cong I got at Imen’s recommendation as a ’beginner’s Dan Cong’—this one can get bitter if you abuse it. But if you work with it gently, such a wonderful, wonderful tea.