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…