I’ve been trying to sip down old teas, which I define as anything bought before 2017. This sort of qualifies, as it’s a 2016 harvest bought in the spring of the next year. Anyway, I remember reading good things about it and resolving to try it, then “archiving” it in my cupboard. I steeped 6 g of tea in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
In the bag, the wiry dark leaves smell like floral sweet potato, and I could have spent several minutes just inhaling the aroma. The first steep has notes of candied sweet potato, malt, wood, caramel, flowers, and tart berries, with a long, sweet potato aftertaste. In short, it’s fantastic. The second steep even has that starchiness associated with sweet potatoes. The fruity element is kind of like cranberries, though it isn’t assertive enough to overwhelm the sweet potato flavours.
The cranberry/sweet-potato combo continues in the next few infusions. The tea stays consistent, which in this instance is a good thing. It has a lovely, silky mouthfeel and very little astringency. Can you tell I like this tea? The final few steeps are less floral, more malty, and a little drying.
If you like sweet potatoes at all—and I didn’t think I was such a fan until I drank this tea—do yourself a favour and pick it up. I found it hard to identify other notes amid the overwhelming fruity and sweet potato goodness, but this isn’t much of a complaint. I’m beginning to think that black Dan Congs are one of my favourite tea types.
Flavors: Caramel, Cranberry, Drying, Floral, Malt, Sweet Potatoes, Tart, Wood