Why hello there snow, I had forgotten what you looked like, and here you are falling all over my blooming crocuses. I really don’t mind that it is snowing, because snow is my second favorite kind of weather (stormy beats it) and it is far too beautiful to be mad at it for taking away the warmth. Such is the way of this part of the world, the temperature and weather flip flop around and keep you guessing.
Today’s tea is #10 in the Red Leaf Tea sampler, Dan Cong Oolong from Guangdong Province in China. Dan Cong is one of the strip style oolongs, meaning that it is not curled into a ball like Tie Guan Yin and its style, also it is usually grown in higher elevations. The aroma of the leaves is quite strongly floral, mostly orchids with a hint of osmanthus, but it is also richly roasted which blends well with the floral notes. There is also a hint of tobacco, that to be honest I could live without. I don’t mind when that note is in earthy or roasted teas, but when tobacco mixes with floral it just gives me a bit of a headache, luckily the note is very mild so it doesn’t bother me too much.
After steeping, the wet leaves have lost all their floral notes, now we have rich earthy and loamy notes with a slight metallic quality, and sweetness. The tea has a very sweet finishing note, almost sickly sweet like decay, it is not at all offensive and really accents the loam quality. The liquid smells like a mix of honey and maple syrup with a hint of honeysuckle and yeasty bread. The liquid’s aroma is really good, I would go as far as to say mouthwatering.
The taste is mild and fairly sweet, like honeysuckle nectar, which fades to a mineral midtaste. The mineral midtaste is exactly like wet limestone (I have licked my fair share of rocks, don’t judge) and I love it. The aftertaste is a blend of loam, cedar, and smoke. As the tea cools it becomes sweeter and more floral. This is an interesting tea, the aroma of the dry leaves compared with the wet compared with the liquid is vastly different. At first I was not sure I was going to be a fan, but after the transition I ended up really enjoying it. My only regret is that when I wrote the tasting notes in my notebook (back in October!) I didn’t have my gaiwan yet, and I used all the leaves up so I won’t be able to try a second go with this tea unless I bought the whole sampler again (which is tempting).
Flavors: Flowers, Mineral