Review: Canton Tea Co. Dan Cong Black

Black Tea, Canton Tea Co. Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It had a lot in common - in this respect - with a second flush Sikkim Temi but not as majestic."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.3/10
Other Teaviews: Dan gave it 8.6/10, Vanessa gave it 8/10
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Dan Cong is typically an oolong variety hailing from a very small region in Guangdong province, China . The name loosely translates to "Phoenix Honey Orchid", and the type is considered the champagne of oolongs. I have tried the oolong version to positive results, but I had no clue that a black tea version existed. Canton Tea Co. was one such provider, although the tea bio didn't glean any new information. Was it prepared the same way as the oolong, only fully-oxidized? Did it hail from the same region? I had no clue.

Whatever it was, it was a unique looking black tea with long, branch-twisty leaves. They also possessed a unique aroma that I could only describe as malty and tangy. Yes, tangy. I think that had something to do with the "apricot" comparison mentioned on Canton's tea bio. On sight and smell, it was like no other Chinese hong cha ("red tea") I ever tried.

Brewing instructions recommended steeping 6 grams of leaves in 100 ml. of 185F water - typically a gaiwan approach. I had a brewing cup from Sri Lanka that was about that depth. My gaiwans were almost strictly reserved for pu-erhs or oolongs. It wasn't specified if one need to use gong fu prepping or not, so I steeped the leaves for three minutes like a typical black.

The liquor brewed light copper with an aroma I can only call "astringent". It wasn't the most pleasant of smells, I admit, but there was also a sense of citrus fruit that made up for it. On taste, that citrusy lean came through even stronger. While it was dry on the forefront, it transitioned quickly (and loudly) to a feeling of grapefruit - tangy and a tad sour. It had a lot in common - in this respect - with a second flush Sikkim Temi but not as majestic. This was about as different as a Chinese black tea could get; no Keemun, Bai Lin or Dian Hong comparison to speak of. However, it was still rather enjoyable on its own merits.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Dan Cong Black, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff Reviewer
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