180 Tasting Notes
Nice overall presentation. Comes in individual double vacuum sealed packages. Dry leaves are vibrant green with faint grass notes. Once the water hits the leaves, aromas of gardenias fill the air. I steeped this both gongfu in a small teapot and in my Teavana large teamaker. I have to say that I prefer the western method with this tea because the flavors are so soft yet intense it takes a larger amount of tea for me to really appreciate them. Flavors of gardenia slight grassiness and milkiness are there as you would expect in an Imperial TGY. But in this tea there is something different. It brews up into a light shade of pale yellow and never gets forceful. The individual bag says “Faint fragrance The Teakettle” Just be aware that if you want the usual experience with TGY this is a more light, subdued yet enjoyable tea.
I noticed the extended forecast for dreary with a capital D for this weekend and I planned accordingly. Make some Thai jok and have this tea alongside.
First the jok (AKA congee). 6 cups H2O, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 kaffir lime leaves, 1 bruised stalk of lemongrass. Bring to boil. Add 2/3 cup cracked jasmine rice, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes stirring often. Meanwhile toast 2 inch ginger and 3 fat cloves of garlic, both julienned, in neutral oil till brown and add to jok. Crisp up some Thai sausages, cut into chunks and toss in. Slice some snow peas and add at last minute then serve with bean sprouts, fried garlic bits and cilantro. Oh and the tea.
Now for the tea. In the bag it is just a run of the mill green oolong, just enough perfum to set the juices flowing but not extreme. Then I pour the first brew and oh dear, I’m having one of those very special tea moments. The wafting notes of floral bouquets and exotic fruits abound. Then the sip, man oh man, it immediately opens up on the tongue with gobs of thick honey, buttery, gardenia, star fruit and more I can’t describe. This is the best Jade I’ve ever had, ever. Full bodied and long lasting a well structured tea.
Onto the pairing. It was definitely as the weatherman said it would be, 36° and raining. When its like this oatmeal, congee and jok are my go to breakfasts. I can cook and my hubby likes something in his belly before yoga. So the stage was set. The combo of the jok with the lemongrass and lime leaves along with the meat and veg meeting the jade oolong is a top ten culinary experience for me. The flavors all complimented and balanced each other so much I didn’t want it to end.
Mostly dark green threads lightly compressed on top with harder compression underneath with more broken leaf. Light moss scent pre and a peppery moss scent after steeping. Flavors are most appealing, sweet apricot, medium viscosity, good mouth feel, just right amount of bitterness and astringency. Cha qi is restrained making it good for afternoon imbibing. I quite like this tea.
Beautiful long unbroken leaf, it looks good. Fragrant whiffs of dried plum, it smells good. Deep bronze hued brew, it feels good. Flavors of cocoa, plum, graham cracker, malt and prune, it tastes good. Ah but there’s a rub.
I have really enjoyed all the teas from this company. I like that they offer, a wide range of teas and consider there descriptors most honest and helpful when selecting. This tea though as good as I have stated above just does its mojo with the first 2-3 steeps. After that I get a gentle sourness that I have only tasted before in Darjeelings. I have brewed this many a times and no matter that sour note comes through. Will it distract me from enjoying the first few steeps, heck no?
Anything special, not really, but it is well made and according to the description all hand processed. A for effort and B for the finished product. I remember Bai Lin being a little darker than this blondish presentation but the leaf is uniform, fuzzed and fragrant Brewed gongfu in a small teapot with a quick rinse, then I married 2 steeps together to be able to read the morning news. Refreshing, smooth, mild cocoa, fig, no aftertaste. straight up red tea. There is a most noticeable kick after 15 minutes which is non jarring so I just road the wave.
Most interesting. Tried the 2015 spring. I must say that after drinking mostly shou and hong cha for last 3 month its great to do a gongfu session with a superb Dan Cong. I mean I did try to make this several ways, grandpa and western style but it doesn’t do this tea service. This tea only can be drunk as a gongfu session, IMHO. Used a lot of leaf to a new celadon pot and went outside to brew and watch the bluebirds vie for nest boxes. The tea is of medium roast and gives a supple soup pumpkin in hue with medium viscosity. The first few steeps offer up the most intense floral honeysuckle and orange blossom flavors and aromas. Middle steeps send the florals into the background and a vegetal sweetness takes center stage akin to butternut squash. Next presence of minerality adding a bit of nuance during the later steeps. Overall not too lengthy, 8 steeps but that is just what it wanted me to have. Again if you have the bucks and really enjoy a bring it home gongfu session with Dan Cong , try any of Tea Drunk’s selection, they’re that good.
Just finishing this summer tea off, found in the back of the cabinet. Hasn’t lost any of its flavors at all, mild buttery spinach flavors, an alluring saltiness with a hint of sweet as it goes down. Zero astringency, sturdy enough for 4 resteeps, makes me long for the warmer weather.