|"Delicious and hard to prepare. Will drive you crazy, or make you want to watch re-runs of "Kung Fu." "|
Verdant Tea's website suggested I brew their Mi Lan Xian, (roughly, "Honey Orchid,") Dan Cong in 205 degree water. When I did, I didn't like the results. Other oolong tea websites suggest a much cooler, 170 degree steep, so I tried that on my second pot.
The stringy, black, leaves opened up like flowers in the cooler water. The liquid they produced, though, had almost no fragrance at all. This was true even when I steeped the leaves in the hotter water. In my experience, this was odd for an oolong.
Again, I strayed from Verdant's suggestions and brewed these delicate leaves for two minutes, rather than the suggested 25 seconds. Here, a faint, earthy, grassy, aroma emerged. The flavor, though, was way too mild, just as it was for the first pot.
Adding more leaves to yet a THIRD pot did the trick. I filled my tiny, Yixing clay pot half with leaves, half with 205 degree water. I brewed for 30 seconds, ( following the alternative, Chinese, Gongu method's directions also provided by Verdant's website)
Finally, I had an oolong. Complexity, sweetness, astringency...orchids and honey...it was all there. I just had to work to find it. I rate this tea an 8, but I add this caveat: this is a "Gongfucha," (tea of great skill,) if ever there was one. Have patience, Grasshopper.
— To purchase Verdant Tea Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong, 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.
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