Huang Zhi Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Smoke, Wood
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Geoffrey
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 6 g 5 oz / 148 ml

Currently unavailable

We don't know when or if this item will be available.

From Our Community

1 Image

19 Want it Want it

  • +4

42 Own it Own it

  • +27

44 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Well, this tea and I have quiiiiite the history. The first time, I so epically steeped it incorrectly that it was undrinkable! I feel bad, because that note of mine should have moved to the back of...” Read full tasting note
    83
    kittenna 2606 tasting notes
  • “I totally agree with David - this tea is a SHAPE-SHIFTER - Oddly enough I have been on an X-Files kick and rewatching the series on netflix so this term makes me chuckle...but it's funny because...” Read full tasting note
    94
    teaequalsbliss 6770 tasting notes
  • “After having a sample of the Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mt Dancong and finding it quite fascinating I asked for a sample of this. The tea leaves are a dark brownish-green and slightly twisted. Dry...” Read full tasting note
    94
    feralanima 174 tasting notes
  • “Dry leaf: This is one of the most fantastic tea I've ever smelled. It has a very light oolong smell but has a very sweet, fruity smell. It is almost like a candy or fruit juice extract. It doesn't...” Read full tasting note
    98
    OkmOkm 58 tasting notes

From Verdant Tea

Region: Phoenix Mountain, Guangzhou

Leaves: Our Phoenix Mountain Dancong is picked from the old tea trees higher than 1000 meters above sea level. Huang Zhi Xiang is a varietal, or subcategory within Phoenix Mountain Oolong, sometimes translated as Orange Blossom or Yellow Branch. At such high altitude, the tea trees are large, slow-growing plants covered in mist that protects them from excess sunlight, helping to produce especially sweet and complex tea.

Flavor Profile: Through the entire 20-25 steepings that we usually take this tea to, this tea yields a staggering spectrum of flavors with a complexity that can rival the depth of any fine pu’er. Early steepings have a woody base with strong notes of toast with apple butter. The apple soon yields to blueberry jam, and the body of the tea becomes sparkly with flavor and texture creating a sensation like electricity or rippling water. Chocolate and darker citrus notes enter with the woody flavor becoming a more pronounced pine base.
It seems in these middle steepings that the oolong is finally settling into itself, but then it takes a sharp turn towards darker more savory flavors. First there is the taste of buckwheat and honey, which leads into what can only be described as the graham cracker marshmallow goodness of s’mores. In very late steepings, the dark flavors start to lift like a fog leaving a tingling lime citrus flavor on the tongue and a vegetal tieguanyin-like aftertaste, and even a bit of peppery cinnamon spice.

Notes: This Dancong keeps us coming back for more. As you can see from the tasting notes, it is a true shapeshifter, taking on so many intriguing forms that it seems to throw down the challenge of drinking it again and again. While it is an incredible full-evening’s entertainment to steep this Chinese style, we have been enjoying large pots and mugs with great effect as well. One note to point out is that this is one of our only teas that requires some attention to steep time. Forget about this for 10 minutes in a pot and the grassy notes get a bit strong. The extra care needed is well worth the reward!

About Verdant Tea View company

Company description not available.

44 Tasting Notes

83
2606 tasting notes

Well, this tea and I have quiiiiite the history. The first time, I so epically steeped it incorrectly that it was undrinkable! I feel bad, because that note of mine should have moved to the back of the pile, so to speak, but it hasn’t due to silly Steepster still ranking a user’s aggregate of notes based on their first one.

Anyhow, I decided to go for a Western-style infusion today, with my standard 1.5tsp of leaf in 8oz. of water, and was rewarded with quite the delicious cup. Light, nutty and sweet, with a few more flavours that escape me, this is really quite tasty. I should have brought some of this one for my mom to try – it just occurred to me that I didn’t bring a single tea for her to try from the “straight oxidized oolongs” category, which I suspect she’d actually really enjoy (she dislikes all blacks, but enjoys pu’erh and green oolongs).

Anyways, like I said, really yummy. Oh – just catching some raisiny sweetness as I chugged down the last of that cup. Mmmmm!

ETA: Second infusion… not so great. I think this one really needs to be brewed gong-fu style to be thoroughly enjoyed. Perhaps this weekend!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94
6770 tasting notes

I totally agree with David – this tea is a SHAPE-SHIFTER – Oddly enough I have been on an X-Files kick and rewatching the series on netflix so this term makes me chuckle…but it’s funny because it’s true (Will & Grace’s Karen reference there!)

Anyhow…Infusion 3…

Not as woodsy and not nearly as grassy. it’s back to being a bit fruity but not apple…maybe a little citrus tho. I can also pick up a little vegetal taste – maybe peas…but a fresh sweet pea or snow or snap pea but certainly the sweet kind!

I can’t really say which infusion I like over the others because they are so different from each other and offer completely different tastes in each.

Because of that…I am upping the rating of this tea! This is certainly a FUN one…complex and QUALITY tea!

Uniquity

Huzzah for an X-Files kick! I own all the seasons on DVD and have watched the whole thing through 2 or 3 times, at least.

TeaEqualsBliss

We are half way thru the last season right now :)

TheTeaFairy

This tea sounds intriguing, that’s for sure…but could it be more intriguing than some X-Files episodes??? So funny, I thought I was the only dork (oops, no offense) who had find nothing better to do during the holiday break than watch some old x-files on Netflix!!! I did not realize how much I had missed Scully & Mulder…and the Cigarette Smoking Man..and the Lone Gunmen!!!

TeaEqualsBliss

:)
That’s awesome! Your comment totally made my day! LOL

Uniquity

Oh, The Lone Gunmen…

TeaEqualsBliss

esp the short one! LOL

LiberTEAS

Watch FRINGE! FRINGE is the new X-Files. I love Walter Bishop… and his son isn’t so bad either. :)

TeaEqualsBliss

@LiberTEAS!!!! Fringe is Great, too! John Nobel (Walter Bishop) is an amazing actor!!!!!!

TeaEqualsBliss

sorry spelled Noble incorrectly above :)

LiberTEAS

He is an amazing actor. I was astonished the first time I saw him in an interview with an Australian accent … but then, I am still mystified by Hugh Laurie, Simon Baker, and Anne Torv (also on Fringe!) It amazes me how well they conquer our accent with such grace and ease … I certainly couldn’t pull off an English or Australian accent as well as they pull off sounding “American.” (My apologies in advance for those not from the US but from “America” who do not have our “accent.” I do not mean to imply that ours is exclusively entitled to the “American” title.)

K S

Fellow Fringe fans! Awesome! We loved X-files as well. Tea folks must be natural born nerds. LOL. That’s what they tell me at work anyway.

TeaEqualsBliss

Oh! For sure! Sci-Fi Nerds – all the way! :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94
174 tasting notes

After having a sample of the Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mt Dancong and finding it quite fascinating I asked for a sample of this.

The tea leaves are a dark brownish-green and slightly twisted. Dry and wet the leaves smell of roasted fruit. After a quick rinse I brewed this gaiwan style. My sip of this tea left me baffled as to what the taste was. First I thought oh there’s some sort of floral note, soft light note of jasmine. Then I thought hazelnut with the nutty taste and creamy texture. Then there was sweet toasted marshmallow followed by an orange note but more in the taste without the citrus texture, kind of like a creamsicle. The aftertaste was spearmint with the tingling sparkling sensation.

What madness is this?! It seems whatever I wished to taste I could find in the tea! As I continued tasting I came across a lightly buttered croissant, lightly grilled stone fruit, and some sort of pine wood. As the steeps continued the roasted flavors came out more and mineral/stone notes came into play as well.

This is a bizarre and wonderful tea than unfolds and shows so much in flavor. It is not nearly as bold and has less roasted notes than that of the Mi Lan Dancong. It still has roasted notes and mineral notes, which I am not a big fan of, but this tea is just so complex that it makes up for those notes!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

A tea taste vortex! A monster wave you ride on a longboard! Exhilaration! Isn’t this what we are looking for?!

ashmanra

Sounds amazing!

Invader Zim

I’m not a fan of the really mineral notes or the roasted/grilled notes, but these dancongs are just so amazingly complex they blow my mind!

Lynne-tea

Oh my! I want to try this so bad now! It’s been in my shopping cart many times.

Sil

thanks for the great review! Though now i have yet another tea to add to the list…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98
58 tasting notes

Dry leaf: This is one of the most fantastic tea I’ve ever smelled. It has a very light oolong smell but has a very sweet, fruity smell. It is almost like a candy or fruit juice extract. It doesn’t have hardly any vegetal smell.

Wet smell: The wet smell is even better. It has the same fruit candy smell with a slight bit of astringency. It has a slightly more vegetal smell.

Taste: This tea is great. The first taste you get is a very sweet taste. If I didn’t know I would swear it had sugar in it. As the liquor moves to the back of your mouth the fruity taste comes out that reminds me of a bed bath and beyond store. It is still very sweet at this point. Next as you start to swallow there is a slightly astringent, vegetal taste. When you swallow there is a smooth feel and long lasting creamy, fruity flavor. This is a fantastic tea and I wish I had ordered more.

Preparation
Boiling

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

57
2585 tasting notes

I finally decided to heed Geoffrey’s advice and steep this in the gaiwan with a very large quantity of leaf.

First infusion: Steeped for 45 seconds. Aroma is very roasty. Got a thick, yellow liquor that reminds me of buttery honey, a definite bitterness in the finish.

Second infusion: 45 seconds. Leaf is now filling up half the gaiwan. I am still getting lots of bitterness although my water temp. is around 180F. I wonder if I used too much leaf but when I used less leaf I could barely taste anything at all. The only other phoenix oolong I have had is from the Tao of Tea which was much less fussy and high maintenance than this. The aroma of it is awesome but the bitterness is not appealing to me.

Third infusion: 20 seconds. I am finally getting something closely approximating a decent cup of tea. Aroma is roasty and buttery, smells better than it tastes but at least it isn’t bitter now.

4th Steep: 30 seconds or less. Just measured my water temp and it’s around 140F and still bitter. Does this tea think it’s a gyokuro? Maybe I just need to try cold brewing the rest.

Conclusion: ??? Not sure if Dancongs are not my cuppa or if there is something more to be done to make this more palatable to me. The first time I tried it with less leaf I thought it was flavorless but perhaps there is something between that and this bitter thing. I have one or two coming from other places so soon I will be able to make a better determination. I see Krystalen had to try this three times before she finally found a way to make it appealing. Gah! :(
-———————————————————————————————
I just went to Verdant’s website and watched the video of how to brew this tea so I will try it again.

New Leaf! lots of leaf and did a quick rinse. 10 second steep and it is better than the ones above but I swear I can still taste the bitterness. Phooey. I’m kind of… OVER IT! God knows I have done my due diligence with this one.

Give me a wuyi yancha, please…

Kittenna

I suggest you read my second/third tasting notes on this. I had major problems; found that a 15s infusion worked best. Geoffrey wrote a nice long comment to me about it as well.

Kittenna

Uh, totally just saw my name near the bottom, so assuming you already read them.

TeaBrat

Ha – thanks Krystalen! Yeah I have messed this up twice now already, what a bummer!

LiberTEAS

Not all teas are for everyone! We all have different palates and every tea tastes different to every palate.

And… don’t necessarily give up on all Dancongs just because this one didn’t work out for you. There may be another out there that’s more to your liking.

TeaBrat

@LiberTEAS – thanks. I feel bad writing such a pissy tasting note but I was quite frustrated by it all!

ScottTeaMan

I tried a this Dan Cong from TeaSpring 4 yrs ago:

http://www.teaspring.com/Feng-Huang-Dan-Cong.asp

I found it to be really good, but tempermental steeping. I kept the first 4 steeps short- 30s, 45s, 45s, 45s. I enjoyed the astringency. Upton Tea had a Dan Cong I reviewed that was alot less fussy, and quite delicious!

http://steepster.com/teas/upton-tea-imports/23902-zo97-feng-huang-dan-cong

I thought I sent you some, and you seemed to enjoy that FHDC Amy. :))

Autumn Hearth

Sigh, I really liked this one when I first tried it in an oolong tasting with a friend back in February and based on my tasting note I was going to order more this weekend with my $10 off coupon since its low stock. However I tried it again today, 5 infusions and only enoyed the first one which really should have been the the rinse, the other were too astringent for me, the second was like putting out an incense stick with my tongue. There were some lovely smells and I did pick up on a bit of orange, but I found those other notes I don’t like in some Dan Congs. The funny thing is I was brewing western in Februaty and gongfu today, I didn’t have as much leaf as recommended, but I can’t imagine that resulting in a smoother less astringent brew. Sigh, a bit disappointed but glad I can apply more money to to the shu I want.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98
39 tasting notes

Where do I even begin? Feng Huang Shan (Phoenix Mountain) Dancong oolongs are probably the big obsession in my tea life right now. I’ve been gripped by a fascination with these teas since I tried my first sample of Mi Lan Xiang (Honey Orchid Fragrance) several months ago. That first experience immediately plunged me deep into a research mission, needing to know as much as possible about this kind of tea, and desiring to try the finest representatives of it I can find. I’ve since acquired a yixing teapot to dedicate exclusively to Phoenix Mountain oolongs.

Feng Huang oolongs have been called the doppelgänger of teas, speaking to their almost bewildering capacity to naturally mimic the flavors and fragrances of completely different plants, foods and spices. There are something like 30+ distinguishable “fragrance” (Xiang) varieties of Feng Huang Dancong, each coming from a different small grove of old and rare tea trees. In the case of a few of these fragrance varieties, the seasonal harvest is confined to merely a handful of trees, and it is said that there is only a single tree in existence for the rarest of these varieties. Aside from these extremely rare examples, there are about a dozen more commonly known and accessible varieties, the most popular being Mi Lan Xiang.

Many of the Phoenix Mountain tea trees, at the highest elevations (1000+ meters), are centuries old; and I think this is a significant factor that contributes to the fascinating complexity of these teas. Like the old grove Yunnan tea trees that are harvested to produce fine sheng pu’er, I feel there is very deeply layered and complex terroir being expressed by these Phoenix Mountain tea leaves. The deeper I’ve gotten into tea drinking, the more I’ve become convinced that Camellia sinensis has a capacity to express terroir that is unmatched by any other plant. And it is staggering to imagine, in the case of old tea trees such as this, the consolidation of centuries of environmental effects, over the life of these trees, finding expression in the tea produced from them. Some of my peak experiences with tea have found this terroir expressed with a sensory experience that the entire landscape and environment of a given tea’s life is unfolding like a vision in my mind, at times becoming so vivid that I feel physically present in that place. One more thing adding to the fascination of Phoenix Mountain oolong is that the local communities of Chao Zhou and Shantou are reputed to be the birthplace of gongfu tea drinking. Given the nature and quality of tea that these communities had immediate access to, the possibility that gongfu cha first developed there seems reasonable enough to me.

So as for the tea in question, I’m writing my tasting note after having just had an hour-plus long session brewing this Huang Zhi Xiang over 20+ gongfu infusions in my Ruci pot. I’ve had about half a dozen sessions with this tea to date, mostly in my yixing pot, but I didn’t want to say anything about it until I could set aside some time to sit down and drink it with undivided attention in another vessel, as my yixing pot for this kind of oolong is still very young and gobbling up a lot of flavor. The glazed Ruci pot was a perfect alternative for this purpose.

The dry leaves smell like orange flavored candy. Immediately on touching hot water the leaves begin to release a woody aroma that I associate with green young tree branches that are pliable when you try to break them and somewhat wet when cut into. When the leaves are completely wet, there is also a vague aroma reminiscent of sandalwood bark and hints of seaweed.

In initial steepings, the front-end of the flavor has a woody base with dominating notes of orange zest, more specifically – zest of blood orange. There is a bright finish on the front-end of this flavor, which could at first be mistaken for bitterness by someone less familiar with the various qualities of texture that tea can have. It is not bitterness though. This finish is a textural quality similar in character to the fine effervescence of hard cider, which sparkles on the front central area of the tongue. I would also associate this flavor/texture composition to some degree with zhang, a quality more commonly found in sheng pu’er, which I would liken to the profile of fermented juniper that comes through in the pine-like quality of gin. Interestingly, the initial sparkle of this tea is wrapped in a silky softness that comes forward after a few seconds and enfolds the mouth.

My readings have indicated that an intense “finish” in the foretaste is prized by the Dancong drinkers of Chao Zhou, who prefer to drink these oolongs with a huge ratio of leaf to water, often filling a gaiwan up to the brim with leaf. This Chao Zhou style of brewing looks for an intense foretaste followed by a deeper appreciation of the complex and enduring aftertaste. For my part, I’m using enough leaf to fill my small 3oz. gaiwan 2/3 – 3/4 full, which is plenty for my tastes.

The overall mouthfeel of this tea is medium-bodied, being neither thick and syrupy nor thin and vaporous. It feels buoyant, as if its edges are round and won’t sink below the sides of the tongue without special movement to make that happen.

Aftertaste is huge, and unfolds over a very long time. This is apparently one of the sure signs of a quality Dancong. I’m convinced that if left to itself, and not covered by eating or drinking something else, this aftertaste could remain all day. The sparkle texture alone stays on the tongue for a surprisingly long time. Breathing stokes the aftertaste like a bellows, with the post-sip retro-nasal aroma release having potent effects. I feel there is a whole orange grove here! The woody bark, the ripe fruit, breeze and sunlight, even birdsong in the trees. Fantastic.

After ten or so short steepings, the tea seems to be waning, but don’t be fooled! It’s just changing and about to start giving out different qualities. In the later steepings, the sparkle texture expands to the side of the tongue , the body grows creamy, a melon-like flavor begins to develop, and then yields to notes of butternut squash.

This tea is invigorating, and will definitely wake you up and feel alert, but I feel it also has enough relaxing cha-qi to allay any sharp caffeinated feeling – like you might get with a CTC black Indian tea or machine-cut Japanese green tea.

All in all, I will say that I am deeply pleased with this amazing tea. For me this tea sets a benchmark for the complexity I want in a Dancong oolong. I love it!

Charles Thomas Draper

Brilliant. I have to do this in the Gaiwan. I think my Yixing gobbled up a lot of the flavor too….

Brooklyn

All of your reviews are a pleasure to read. Thanks for the insights!

Pamela Dean

Huzzah, huppa, and hooray! Geoffrey, I loved reading this! So good of you to describe the development of a connection to the source of the tea, imagining yourself there. I hope this will help others to expand their experience in a similar fashion. I, too, like to think of being there with the big old tea trees. I especially visualize hands, the hands of the growers and pickers and witherers and rollers, roasters and driers .. all of those beautiful hands working diligently to coax the best from their leaves.Every time we buy these treasures, we help to support the continuance of the craftmanship which produces them. I’m old, worn out and crazy …. but enjoying the hell out of the tea and my rituals. It seems that in entering my dotage, I’m doting on camellia sinensis … :)

Geoffrey

@Charles, Brooklyn & Dax – Thank you all for the kind words! And happy drinking to you!

Mercuryhime

You have a way with description. Are you a novelist by any chance? I’d love to read anything you write. I may actually buy your book instead of borrowing it from the library.

Mercuryhime

Also, the tea sounds awesome!

Geoffrey

@Mercuryhime – Actually, I’m a (very reluctant) poet. It’s a perilous vocation, and these days a very unrewarding one most of the time. I’ve been taking a long break from writing that stuff. Anyway, thanks for the compliment. It’s very kind of you. Maybe someday there will be a piece of decent writing out there that I had some hand in, whether or not I my name is on it. I learned well from my teacher… I was present when once he was asked, “Who is your favorite author?” Without hesitating he replied, “Anonymous.” I would have to respond the same.

At any rate, I do recommend giving this tea try. It’s super!

TeaBrat

It sounds great. I’ve had a few pu-erhs from old trees and I also like them very much.

David Duckler

Geoffrey, You are such an asset to the tea community- I am glad that you are in Minneapolis. Tea and poetry most certainly go together. Most of the tea people I know are secret poets of some kind, even in China. I too dabbled in poetry, but find myself much more at home in the poetics of flavor.

The Song Dynasty poets used to drink tea and compose rhyming couplets in competition with each other. Perhaps a Minneapolis Dancong-fueled creative meet up is in order…

Geoffrey

David, I’m all for participating in such a meet up. One of my last teachers at university, the one who taught me about Chinese poetry and poetics, and provided my first real exposure to East Asian tea culture, once gave a class-long lecture on the poetry competitions you mention. He even had us play at re-enacting one of these gatherings at the end of it. Too bad we didn’t have the fine Chinese tea in class to ignite our imaginations then. He was a good teacher. I think I’ll have to check and see if he’s still around, and maybe drop off a sample of your tea for him sometime.

Anyway, thanks again for the tea! And for your appreciative words.

Spoonvonstup

What a great tasting note! I am excited to eventually get my own thoughts about this tea out, but I still want to sit with it longer. It’s so intriguing.
Thank you for sharing all of these thoughts and research. You are becoming quite the Dancong initiate! I look forward to seeing where all of this takes you.

Tamara Fox

I’ve also discovered a love for dancong teas, but could never have expressed it so well. Bravo!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

93
1341 tasting notes

Wooweeeee this tea is sumthin else!! so good!!!! Thanks to Kristaleyn for sharing with me!
Now on to the TEA!
I rinsed this once for a few seconds before getting to the real steep, but I think I should have rinsed again because the first steep was really weak. I mean, I thought that for a moment there this one was a waste! but don’t worry, it got progressively better, it really did!!
The second steep was great, salty and a little sweet. Like buttered green vegetables (though I can’t pinpoint which ones precisely) wrapped in something hay like. Hay-leaf?
The third steep was less salty, only in the aftertaste but in it’s place was buttered sweet corn bread! oh YUM!!! The immediate aftertaste was sweet, with an afteraffect of having had something lightly salted.
The fourth steep was less bready, but still strongly so. However, it shared the spotlight with something else that was a bit nutty and sweet. Hazelnuts perhaps?
Also, I found the faintest suggestion of something apple but I had trouble distinguishing it from the nuttiness so I can’t be sure.
One other thing. It was all so smooth, I can’t believe a tea could be so velvety. Like silk!
Overall, I am very pleased with this oolong but I regard it as a special experience… it would be too much to have every day. Like a trip to the spa! Thanks again Kristaleyn!

Bonnie

Absolutely wonderful analogy…a trip to the spa. Some tea’s are just that way!

Indigobloom

yep! and if I had it every day, then the other teas that I love might become less special. Can’t have that!

ScottTeaMan

Everone seems to like this tea…….alot!

Indigobloom

I recommend it Scott! HIGHLY!! :)

Kittenna

Oh, good I’m going back through all these posts :) Glad you liked it. I think I gave you a pretty small sample (as I need get it right yet myself), so I’m glad you didn’t fail like I did the first time :)

Indigobloom

I still have enough left for another cup! but yes it’s very good… definitely try it again :)

chadao

Nice description! My experience with wulongs is usually like this. The best ones don’t even begin to reveal their true colors until at least the third steep.

Indigobloom

thx Chadao! I agree, the second or third steep is usually the best one, by far. I’ve only ever had one where the first steep was better.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

30 tasting notes

The first time I encountered Dancong Style Oolongs was at the most posh tea house in Qingdao, China. This was the kind of place that you go to be seen- When you go in the massive double doors carved from solid walnut, you are greeted by an entire limestone stalactite formation meticulously transported from a cave in Yunnan to be the waterfall feature here. On the left is a Ming Dynasty fishing boat turned into a tea pavilion on the indoor pond.

Even though I was there on grant money to do research on tea culture, from the humble farms of Laoshan to the high-brow teahouses like this, I felt humbled and asked for a table in the least fancy-looking part of the building. When the menu came, it was a rolled string of bamboo strips with the tea names carved in wood. Starting my research in a city obsessed with Laoshan green tea, and Tieguanyin, I had never before come across Dancong. I saw it on the menu and ordered.

It was prepared for me in traditional Southern China gongfu ceremony with gaiwan. The taste kept me sitting for hours getting the tea re-steeped. They were probably wondering when I would head out or order a different tea, but the taste was so intriguing.

I found Dancong to be elusive, a shapeshifter just slightly out of reach. My tea vocabulary was smaller then, but the apple notes and the texture were wonderful. After that, I asked all around the tea markets about Dancong, but nobody had any.

Only recently was I reminded of this experience by Steepster friends logging Dancong tasting notes. I asked a friend in QIngdao to have her tea friend in Guangzhou send some Dancong samples for me to try again. She ended up sending about a dozen, all of which were mind-blowing.

In the first round of tasting, I actually picked out a Mi Lan Dancong over this, because it had more of a “smack in the face” intensity that you couldn’t ignore. Then I came back to the Huang Zhi Xiang. It was a more quiet tea. I realized that if you are willing to listen, willing to taste, this tea had much more to give then any of the other samples. It is about two dozen teas in one. It recaptures that “shapeshifter” experience I had with my first Dancong.

I have found myself brewing Dancong every day without fail since the last shipment came in, and I still love it. I love it so much that I am actually re-assigning one of my favorite Yixing pots from Big Red Robe to Dancong. That should be an interesting flavor experiment v. gaiwan steeping. What I love about this tea is that it always has something new to offer. It is the essence of a multi-dimensional tea. It is a challenge to rise to. It holds my attention like an aged sheng pu’er might.

I hope that other tea lovers will fall head over heels for this like I have. I know that I will be requesting another 50+ samples to try to pick out another type of Dancong to expand the line- that is, if I can find one to live up to this Huang Zhi Xiang.

Geoffrey

Great rumination, David. With regard to the last thing you mention here, I for one eagerly await the prospect!

Kashyap

I so wish more people to weave more tea tales that spoke of their experiences and reflections while drifting within the hues of a cup of tea….thanks for sharing

chadao

I actually just posted a tasting note on this tea before I read your note on it, David. I am surprised that we have very similar things to say about it, except that you say it with much more eloquence and insight. We definitely come from different places when it comes to tea drinking, but seem to have similar tastes. I definitely look forward to learning more about tea through interacting with your offerings and insights.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

90
520 tasting notes

I thought I’d have a nice relaxing gong fu session today but then husband wanted breakfast and mother in law popped in. oh well. It was still good. I had enough attention span to notice that it’s smells amaaaazing! Floral and sweet and toasty.

The first steep after a rinse is more toasty grains than anything. The second was fruity and sweet. Like plums and apricots. Beyond that… well, I was super distracted. Poor Verdant Tea. Deserves better than that. I got the leaves cold brewing in the fridge. I think it’s got more to give still. Until then, I’ve got a pot of gyokuro cold brewed and delicious waiting for me. :)

PS For those in the NYC area, is it humid or what? Ew!

Bonnie

Life happens!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

94
138 tasting notes

This was one of the samples that David kindly gave to me to try. Wow. So far I have done 5 steeps and it gets more complex. I get grape jelly on the first steep and then clove. I might have to stock this in the new year.

Thanks for the sample :)

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C
Spoonvonstup

I always get blueberry jelly with this one, and everyone gives me a funny look! Now I can point to your note and say, “See? BTVSGal understands me, so nyeh.”

How are you steeping this one, by the way? I’ve made it so far in a big pot, gaiwan, and yixing. Still making notes for a real tasting note- very complex.

BTVSGal

lol..Yeah I understand.
I did it in a tasting cup…since I broke my gaiwan. It was perfect for it!

Nathaniel Gruber

i love how complex this one is! incredible!

Brooklyn

Five steeps? Wow – that’s great! In your tasting cup, just curious, how much water does it hold, and how much tea did you put in it? I am ordering this stuff soon, and I wanted to get an idea for how different people prepared it. Thanks!

BTVSGal

It is the tasting cup from Adagio. It says on the site that it holds 5oz. I think I did half a tablespoon of tea. It was a sample so I was trying to not use too much since I wanted to give it another go another day.I wrote the tasting note after the second tasting of the tea.

Brooklyn

Awesome. Thanks!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.