My initial reaction to this one was just that my palate still has quite a bit of conditioning needed in order to comprehend the subtleties that others are describing. Having never tried a Dancong and only once before ever even tasting a dark oolong – Big Red Robe – that also left me feeling overmatched, I was set to merely finish out the ounce or so that came with this month’s order by enjoying the flavors for what they are and give up on trying to define them in a way that would warrant posting my thoughts here for others to read.
My wife and I are anxiously shopping for our first house and dealing with the ups and downs of balancing what we want, need, and can reasonably afford. As you can imagine or have experienced, this process can make for some trying times! After an afternoon of disappointing news from the realtor then followed by a surprisingly tasty effort at home-made carne asada tacos, I put my daughter to bed by reading a few pages of Ferdinand (about the length of her attention span) and then proceeded to doze off next to her unintentionally. When I woke up an hour later, it was too late to put on a pot of coffee so I decided to pitch the last 5 or 6 grams of Tong Tian Xiang Phoenix Mountain on the steep and make an effort at this week’s team assignment for my online classes.
And wouldn’t you know that when I stopped trying to focus so hard on what the tea was supposed to be, it stood up and demanded to be appreciated like a clingy toddler! The cacophony of flavor became distinctly layered weaves of dried apricot on the nose and what I can only imagine petrified wood might taste like on the lingering finish. Although not as comforting as other types of tea I’ve tried, in its own way it was very pleasant throughout the times I enjoyed it over the last two weeks but never more than tonight. As it is now all gone, I do look forward to trying other Dancongs in the future so I have something to compare it with and will save any ratings until then.