Let me first confess that I am a big fan of Tea Habitat’s Dan Cong teas and consider them the best Dan Congs available. I went the whole way and got a little Chao Zhou teapot from her, made especially for Dan Congs (same as Teaddict, I believe), I brew according to Iman’s instructions, pour low to high, etc., etc.
All of which is to say that this Dan Cong from Hou De is right up there in the Tea Habitat echelon. This is premium quality, old bush, not commercial grade Dan Cong.
The aroma is fabulously peachy, as expected from “Eight Immortals.” The thickness is very satisfying, really difficult not to gulp. Sometimes, a lesser Dan Cong’s aroma can be meretriciously ornamental. But this aroma is a precise index of the actual flavor of the tea. I filled my 120 ml pot half to two thirds full, steeped for just less than a minute. The characteristic Dan Cong astringency is perfect. I was left with a very good feeling.
Now I’ll modulate to slightly picky. The leaves were a bit broken in my package. Maybe it was the end of a bag. Maybe I wasn’t careful opening the package. The very first brew was a tiny bit cloudy, but subsequent infusions were brilliantly clear. I didn’t find this tea demanding. I agree with The Skua that it is mild, but only compared to a Yancha or something. Almost minimalist. But it’s a generous giver. It’s the kind of tea that could become a daily, especially given the entirely reasonable price.
I have a suggestion if you try this tea: Choose a Sunday when you can sleep late. The Saturday before, wash your best bed linens and give them an extra rinse so all detergent is rinsed out. Fresh, cool cotton. Drink this Dan Cong when you wake (don’t set a clock!). The clean, fragrant minimalism of the tea connects with the memory of the smell of cotton. Open a window, even if it’s cold out. The different, fresh smells and sounds and memories and dreams of the night before all connect. Your spirit moves around with little effort. It’s quite wonderful. I just happened upon that experience, but next time, I’m fixing for it.
2007 Winter Feng Huang Wu Dong Old Bush Dan Cong "Ba Xian"
Harvest: 2007 Winter
Location: Wu Dong, Feng Huang county, Guang Dong
Fermentation/Roasting: 25% / light wood roasting
Description: This precious dancong is from old bushes (avg 40 years old) of the Wu Dong plantation area of Feng Huang county. The dry leaves are complete, tight, and loooong!
The focus of this dancong was to express the ethereal and elegant floral fragrance of the Winter hand-harvested leaves from vigorous old bushes of a higher elevation plantation. The floral scent has the impression of both gardenia and orchid. The Winter season infused the leaves with an additional layer of creamy and honey aroma. Just enough wood roasting smartly caramelized the complex components of aroma while retained the ethereal and refreshing quality.
Liquor is delightful golden-yellow with a remarkable clarity. Taste is refined, with a hint of bitterness going deep in the throat and quickly changing to lingering and comfortable after-taste.