Mi Lan Dancong Black

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Black Tea
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Burnt Sugar, Dates, Honey, Sweet Potatoes
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
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205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 4 g

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57 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea

A perfectly realized synthesis of honey-fruit, avocado, wafting jasmine & chocolate malt. . . .

Mi Lan Dancong Oolong and Laoshan Black are two of our favorite teas in existence. Little did we know that out there was a tea whose flavor profile perfectly combined the best elements of each. At least, until we found this Mi Lan Dancong Black.

The aroma of the wet leaf is that of sweet sesame, caramelized asparagus, cinnamon spice and ice wine. The harmony is intriguing and unexpected. The first sip reveals the intensity of this tea. If raw honey were transfigured into a pomegranate, the sensation of tasting this tea would be like biting into the honey-fruit’s pulp and feeling it burst open in a mouth-watering juiciness.

The aftertaste reveals a wafting vaporous floral note, like fine jasmine incense picked up by a light breeze. There is a sweetness that is both creamy and vaguely savory like perfectly ripe avocado, and a gentle lingering malty chocolate flavor. Later steepings introduce a sparkling spicier texture, with flavors moving towards cacao nibs and malted milk. This is a perfectly integrated and harmonious realization of the ideals of black tea and oolong.

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57 Tasting Notes

16 tasting notes

This is a special tea!!! I just received this sample. Next thing on my list is to order some more of this stuff!

The dry leaves emit a very nice floral, jasminy aroma; very pleasant and inviting. With the addition of very hot water, pure magic springs to life. The wet leaves smell as expected with a very slight and pleasant sourness (vaguely like the smell of fermenting grain or hops). There is a tanginess that is present in the taste of the first steep. There are a lot of delicious flavors in the first couple steeps, predominately cocoa and sweet spice in the beginning which turns to floral flavors later on. This tea has great rhythm. The evolution of flavor from cup to cup is like watching a Wagner Opera: you never know what’s coming next, but you will surely find it enjoyable.
I’m amazed at the shear numbers of apparent and subtle flavors culminating in a memorable tingle and a perfectly clean throat. This is a memorable tea!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

Ah Wagner. All that drama. My mother sang Opera so early memories of her singing Wagner. I know what you mean when the tea begins to rumble up unexpected notes of flavor like rhythms as you said.

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294 tasting notes

The dried leaf leaf is long and slender and beautiful. I brewed this in my Gaiwan for my morning brew with high expectations. The first steeping of around a minute yielded a fruity, sweet nectar that was very, very similar to the Mi Lan Dancong Oolong. This was my morning brew and it did awaken my mind but my body became incredibly relaxed. The flavor and aroma are there. I just think maybe if one wishes to consume this in the morning that a basket-style brewing with a longer steeping will bring out a stronger energy that one needs to start the day. This is a very fine tea that I believe is better suited for an evening cup…

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169 tasting notes

I love when a tea renders me speechless, or at least at a loss of words.
When I smelled this tea I just kept saying “Oh!” and “Mmmm!” and a few “ahhhss” were thrown in for good measure.
And this was all before I even had tasted it yet.
There was something so delightful yet familiar about the odor of this tea, although, I had never had it before, in fact this is my very first Verdant Tea, A huge thank you to Sil for giving me this to try!
So, since I was savoring its odor and had to wait for it to cool some before sipping I decided to read some reviews.
I think I am getting the cacao nib smell, and the malted milk too.
I think that is why this tea seemed familiar, comforting in fact.
This is a tea that hugs you back.
I do get the hints of avocado and jasmine too, which are both things that I just adore.
On first sip, I thought “Oh! Avocado for sure”
But then the second sip, I tasted cacao nibs.
More sips brought out all sorts of flavors from malt to floral.
Wow! What a tea.
I see from past reviewers that more steeps bring out more flavors as well.
What a delicious and delightful tea.
And since others have said it better than me, I think I will just go and enjoy this wonderful brew.
But…I am going to leave you all with two things…buy this tea because its the bomb, and thank you again Sil for sharing!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

YAY!!!! I’m so glad that you liked it and that I had some left to share :) I hope you have a wonderful time re-steeping this one and enjoying the flavours that emerge.

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8 tasting notes

Last night my husband left me to go camping by himself in a nearby state park. So, obviously, my night was consumed with cupcakes and a chick flick marathon. My morning, however, was filled with this COURAGEOUS, gorgeous tea.

I steeped this according to Verdant’s instructions for the initial steep. Mmm… was this magical. I may be bias, because I am definitely a black tea girl. BUT – this was absolutely fabulous. Hints of fruit that are infiltrated by a deep grittiness. I know what you are thinking, but – yes- it’s remarkable. So much so I’m contemplating naming my first born after it… whenever that may be.

Ok – I went too far.

Back to the tea- the first steep was much grittier than the second. The second steep startled me with a liberal splurge of caramel with a lessened fruity aftertaste.

When my husband pulled in the drive-way in the morning, I was sitting on the front stoop savoring this scrumptious cup of tea. I handed it over for him (the COFFEE drinker) to partake. His first words were, “Can I use these leaves to steep it again?” :) :)

Thank you Steepster for ultimately being a source of marriage counseling. My spouse and I are enjoying commencing about our cherished hot beverages.

Happy Steeping.

Terri HarpLady

Fun review, Lesli! I also enjoyed this tea :)
I’m glad to hear you & your hubby have similar tastes in tea. Tony dislikes almost everything I drink, & I’m not real fond of the teas he likes either, but, in the famous words of Kahlil Gibran, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness” or something like that…

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409 tasting notes

I got a sample of this awhile back and the second half has been waiting around for me to drink and review it. This tastes just like what it is – a tea that is typically turned into a rich, fruity oolong processed instead into a black tea. All of the fruit and floral notes carry over, but now there is chocolate as well, and a hint of smoke. This may not resteep as many times as an oolong, but I would still prepare and drink it similarly – high leaf-to-water ratio, short time, drunk straight.

This is incredibly light and complex for a black tea, definitely one to make you stop. Take a breath. Take a sip. Relax and enjoy, for a few minutes.

I have the Autumn 2011 picking here, with flavors of honey, jasmine, chocolate, and juicy fruit.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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98 tasting notes

Dry smell: like fruit. Mostly grapes or plums.

Wet Smell: soy sause and noodles.

Lovely light flavor that unfolds slowly. There are notes of avocado as described as well as the grapes of plums I smelled in the dry leaves. Lovely.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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15 tasting notes

Thank you to CharlotteZero for sending me this tea to try. It is actually my first verdant tea to try, I picked it up since I have never tried Dancong Black so it got me curious. I was surprised when I looked at tea leaves – it looked very dried compared to most of tea I see. When I smelled it, I sensed very smokey and roasty smell, which reminded me of Keemun. Since I am somewhat picky when it comes to smokey tea, I got worried – however it was unnecessary! I actually ended up leaving it steep longer than I wanted but it didn’t leave me any bitterness in flavor. It was very mind, and there was unique mild smokey flavor. Overall, I liked it! :)

3 min, 30 sec

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336 tasting notes

I’m having this as an after dinner tea and I did overindulge bit … The tea really hits the spot. This time around I can really taste the pine nuts.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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186 tasting notes

Gong fu sytle in a 5oz gaiwan.

Dry Leaf – Chocolate, Oolong plum like scent, caramel/vanilla.

Wet Leaf – Plum Oolong, smoky chocolate, caramel, with sesame undertone; honey and vanilla scent from the lid.

1st Steep – Plummy and wine like with slight honey sweetness that turns smokey and chocolately. It has a clean mouth feel with plum after taste.

2nd Steep – Lid smells nutty with sesame undertone and strong warm honey smell. Plummy wine like taste with slightly smoky body, Mi Lan Xian/Keemum Mao Feng wine like aftertaste.

3rd Steep – Strong honey smell from the lid followed by plum essence nuttiness almost depleted. Honey taste with plum and some vanilla.

4th Steep – Floral plum with honey undertone and plum aftertaste. Slight vanilla scent and Honey, slight astringency present.

5th Steep – plum with floral aftertaste; Honey sweetness is faded with vanilla undertone and slightly nutty smoky background.

Overall to me this was an OK tea, It seemed to me like a Mi Lan Xiang that tried to become a Da Hong Pao(Big Red Robe) but remained within the plumminess of the Mi Lan Xiang. I wouldn’t really classify this one as a black tea, in fact the only hints of black tea for me were the initial chocolate taste and the wine like taste in the later steeps (almost like a Keemung Mao Feng) but it then turns more plum tasting like an Oolong.

Worth a try, good quality tea.

205 °F / 96 °C

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19 tasting notes

The best word to describe this tea: different. I mean that in the best way possible. It’s like going to work and looking out your window right before lunch to see a man crossing the street with a llama. Uhhh, what? Your taste buds get a similar vibe here with how unique and unexpected this tea is.

When I smelled the damp leaves after pouring some tea into the cup, I closed my eyes and was brought to the middle of an endless field of wheat. The smell of sesame seeds was distinct, and I loved knowing this was going to be a different tea experience than I am used to.

My first few cups were insane — sweet notes of grape, that sesame seed flavor, and a feel that I can only describe as being refreshing like a good vegetable. Not vegetal as is a flavor in greener teas, but a feeling akin to a very refreshing vegetable (I’m assuming this is me experiencing what others are referring to as the avocado notes). There is also a strong tingling texture on the tongue very similar to Big Red Robe. The aftertaste leaves a floral taste in the back that feels like a flowery mist.

On the third and fourth sweepings things mellowed out drastically. The flavor tasted like a light dancong with a hint of spice and sweetness. To be honest, I became a bit disappointed as everything died down severely (except the tingling texture) while some astringency became quite apparent. I figured it had turned into what tasted like an exasperated oolong.

Then, out of nowhere on the fifth or sixth steeping everything changed dramatically again. The astringency was for the most part gone, and an overwhelmingly full flavor of delicious dark chocolate took over. Think of the llama — Uhhh, what?? Yes. Dark chocolate with the malty qualities of black tea. The texture is weaker than in initial steepings, but it is still quite tingly. In a few more later sweepings, a slight citrusy aftertaste has developed.

All in all, this tea is truly rich. Like a generous man giving what he enjoys to his friends, this tea gives out all its various favors to all who come near. This is evidenced in the leaves as they go from black to green the more you steep them. In a beautiful way they selflessly give all they have to offer to willing drinkers.

Thank you for this tea, David. I now have a dilemma — on our honeymoon a few months ago my wife bought me a new yixing teapot. Do I use it for this tea or for Shui Xian? Ahh what a wonderful dilemma, indeed…

205 °F / 96 °C

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