Fenghuang Dan Cong Black 2011 Late Spring Pluck

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Geoffrey
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Tea Trekker included this as a free sample with my last order from them a month ago. I had ordered 4oz of their aged 2008 Mi Lan Dancong Oolong, and a 15g sample of their curious Wuyi Shan Phoenix...” Read full tasting note
    Geoffrey 39 tasting notes
  • “I received my Tea Trekker order this morning! I have been looking forward to trying a Dan Cong black tea for about a month, and finally broke down and bought some(if I weren't a tea 'addict' I...” Read full tasting note
    98
    HyBr1d 13 tasting notes
  • “Yummm, this is an extremely soft and floral tea, not necessarily a morning brew but its so delicate and unique that you just can't not appreciate this tea. I received this as a free sample from Tea...” Read full tasting note
    77
    Jaa235 13 tasting notes

From Tea Trekker

  • Phoenix Mountain
  • Guangdong Province, China
  • Orthodox leaf with no contrasting-colored tip
  • Long, open-twist needle style
  • Soft, sweet, fruity flavor
  • Deep ‘tea’ aroma
  • Classic copper liquor, tinged silver

For lovers of dan congs, this tea will be a wonderful surprise. The traditional oolong leaf varietal – dan cong – has been manufactured here into a fully-oxidized black tea. This tea bears some similarities to the manufacture given our Wu Yi Imperial Da Hong Pao black tea, and when an oolong varietal is fully-oxidized into a black tea a different structure develops and the over-all style changes. When manufactured as a black tea these oolong varietals present a gentler, less astringent side of the black tea flavor profile.

Fenghuang Dan Cong black is distinctive for its soft but pronounced flavor. Sip carefully and you can find a bit of the familiar dan cong flavor in the cup. It has a ‘jammy’ or currant-like taste that complements spicy food nicely, especially when drunk after a flavorful and hearty, rich meal.

However, this tea is also delicious as an afternoon social tea, enjoyed with friends over conversation, in the oolong tradition.

Production of Fenghuang Dan Cong black tea is small and not common. It is accomplished by expert tea masters with leaf plucked from young bushes that are being groomed to produce dan cong oolong when they mature.

About Tea Trekker View company

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3 Tasting Notes

39 tasting notes

Tea Trekker included this as a free sample with my last order from them a month ago. I had ordered 4oz of their aged 2008 Mi Lan Dancong Oolong, and a 15g sample of their curious Wuyi Shan Phoenix Oolong hybrid tea. I wasn’t expecting to get extra free samples because they offer ample-sized samples for purchase, so it was a pleasant surprise to receive this Dancong Black tea along with another free sample of their Shui Xian. After sampling all of these teas, I’d say that 3 out of the 4 of them definitely interested me enough to consider ordering more of them in the future. The outlying 4th tea was also interesting, and enjoyable, but just not suited to my tastes for regular drinking; I’m sure others would find it great though. Anyway, it all further nurtures the trust, sprouted from reading Robert and Mary Lou Heiss’s books, that they know what high quality tea is and are really striving to offer only that in their shop.

Anyway, this note is about the Fenghuang Dancong Black tea, which I found very enjoyable. The prevailing characteristics are a little hard to compare to other black teas. The main body of the flavor is unlike Keemun, Laoshan or Yunnan blacks. “Soft, sweet and fruity” is a pretty apt description on the part of the vendor. Those familiar with the basic Dancong profile will recognize its presence after the liquor has settled on the tongue for a couple seconds, or after a few sips. It’s a woodsy fruitiness that I’m very fond of.

In the more generic Dancong oolong this comes through as a fruitiness reminiscent of apricots, peach, and grapefruit floating over a distinctive woody base note. But here, when the leaves are fully oxidized into black tea, these characteristics take on a darker palette and the fruitiness reminds more of black plum, black cherry, black grape, and touches of pear. Heiss describes “currants” and this is probably on the mark from what I can remember of their flavor, but I haven’t tasted currants more than a few times in my life.

I got to try this two times in my gaiwan, steeping probably 10+ times each session. Honestly, I was sad when I reached the end of the sample, and took a mental note to watch out for other representatives of this one in my tea adventures. I’m very fond of this profile and like how it plays in a fully-oxidized context. Chinese black teas are typically the go-to thing for me to drink in the morning, and I like to have a variety of them on hand. Bring Dancong characteristics into the picture, and I’m going to keep coming back. I would happily add this one to my regular rotation.

On another note entirely… I’ve been MIA from Steepster for a little while, for a number of reasons, but most notably because I’ve just taken on a new full-time job that was extended to me shortly before the Xmas holiday, and I officially started it last Thursday. So I’ve been super busy. And if perhaps you’re wondering why I haven’t assigned a rating score to the present tasting note, it’s because my new job is in the tea business. I’m now the Business Development Manager for Verdant Tea, and as I now have a professional stake in the tea business I’ve decided to no longer participate in the score/rating aspect of Steepster for reasons of fairness and ethical accountability. I have no interest in manipulating the rating system in our favor or against other tea businesses. The ratings I put up before working for Verdant will remain, as they only reflect my personal opinions as a tea drinker, but I clearly can’t offer an unbiased score anymore and I don’t want to make any secret of that. In any case, I do hope to continue writing helpful and interesting tasting notes without ratings from time to time, for our teas and teas that I enjoy from other businesses. These will probably be fewer and far between though, as I’m much busier now than I used to be, and I’ll only be able to contribute here on my personal time. So that’s it… I’m a professional tea man now. Tea has truly, at last, conquered me.

TeaBrat

Thanks for your honesty and fairness.

Geoffrey

Thanks, Amy. Those two qualities have always been very important to me. It’s always refreshing to see others appreciate them. Cheers!

Mercuryhime

From the way you describe your new job, I’m not sure if I should congratulate you or not. :)
I shall miss seeing your reviews more frequently.

Geoffrey

@Mercuryhime – Ha! Believe me, it’s a great change from what I was doing. I’m really loving it actually. It’s refreshing to spend a great bulk of my time working so closely with something that I love. Anyway, I’ll surely be continuing to post, but it may be a few months until I can start doing it with any regularity again.

Stephanie

Congrats on your new career! Immersed in tea 24-7, sounds fun!

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98
13 tasting notes

I received my Tea Trekker order this morning! I have been looking forward to trying a Dan Cong black tea for about a month, and finally broke down and bought some(if I weren’t a tea ‘addict’ I would say I already have enough tea and did not need more…oh well) I really enjoy this tea, it takes what I love about Dan Cong oolong and adds another dimension in the richness of the taste! I taste fruit, not the light fruity taste of oolong, but a rich juiciness that is something I have yet to find in other black teas. As for now I will cut my tasting notes short, for I do not have the power of taste description like many on steepster have :(
On a side note, I stopped smoking cigarettes right before new years, and it is amazing how much better I can smell and taste! So it’s will be an ongoing process, but I will try to train my taste buds so I can correctly describe what I taste!

Brewing method: 7g of tea for 7 oz of water in a small teavana perfect tea maker. 1 quick rinse, 6 sec first and second steep, 10 sec third +3-5 sec each extra steep. I had 7 steepings before I stopped…not the leafs fault, lol couldn’t take any more liquid :(

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77
13 tasting notes

Yummm, this is an extremely soft and floral tea, not necessarily a morning brew but its so delicate and unique that you just can’t not appreciate this tea. I received this as a free sample from Tea Trekker and was excited to try this. I was not disappointed

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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