Mi Lan Dancong Black

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

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59 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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59 Tasting Notes

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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12 tasting notes

I tried this one gong fu style. The scent is intoxicating and yummy. I really had my hopes up and well. To me it was OK it didn’t deliver the greatness suggested by the description. It felt somewhat exaggerated.

Overall it has an very present chocolate scent and taste and it seems to be a black with a faint hint of Phoenix Oolong. Very pleasant and nice, sweet and creamy. After that all other steeps seem to get more Oolong-like and astringent and this part was the one that let me down. I know it is sort of a hybrid between black and Oolong but it felt almost like a flavored Oolong who’s flavor washed away in the first steep and then the actual nature of the tea appeared.

205 °F / 96 °C

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281 tasting notes

This is one of the Verdant teas that seemed like a must-try. I am only in the middle of the first steep and I feel like I must start talking about this immediately! I used about 3g for my medium sized mug, and gave it a rinse like they suggested. Then steeped for 25 seconds. It starts off honey sweet and leaves a cinnamon-y tingly feeling on the tongue. To me it is distinctly sweet potato, but it’s a sweet potato loaded with spice and served with something meaty and fruity at the same time. ?? It’s amazing! My mouth feels like its in the middle of a turkey dinner!
Second steep 40 seconds. Pretty similar to the first steep but that spice is a bit more prominent.
Third steep 50 seconds. I am eating lunch with this steep so the notes are difficult to distinguish but it doesn’t seem to have lost any flavor.
This is delicious!

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8 tasting notes

I liked this one better than the Laoshan Black—didn’t even need sugar with it. I certainly didn’t taste all the things that were listed in the description, but I will say that it had a very nice lingering aftertaste…kind of floraly. I think this is a black tea that could grow on me.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

And it is definitely a bad idea to steep for more than 35 seconds on subsequent steepings…it becomes very bitter.

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81 tasting notes

Another fine tea from Verdant. I swear I do not own stock in that company, they just seem to fine some of the best tea around.
Nose, lychee and peach ( for those who like the Harney Fenghuang Shuixian I would really recommend you try this one ), apricot, sandalwood, jasmine, on the palate much like the nose with more sour citrus notes like yuzu, also light rose and spice. Rather dry but not really astringent, slightly short finish.

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38 tasting notes

I’m all out of my favorite teas, and finally got the order from Verdant in with some samples :)
This one was the first one up. The dry leaves smell fantastic, chocolaty and toasty. The first brew is full of Honey and rock sugar notes. Its very balanced, nice color, no bitterness or astringency even when brewed strong. Its a nice tea, not overly complicated, I can see myself drinking on daily basis.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Dates, Honey, Sweet Potatoes


My favorites are the first flushes-most of them are flavorful. I also order Darjeeling’s from silvertipstea and Barney

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