Review: Verdant Tea Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong

Oolong Tea, Single Estate Tea, Verdant Tea Add comments
Sophie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Beyond the first steep where some floral notes make an appearance, grapefruit notes are what dominate the cup."
Sophie’s Teaview: 7/10
Other Teaviews: CJ gave it 8/10, Raven gave it 8.0/10
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This fifteen pound edition is from a small farm in the Chinese province of Guandong, picked in the fall of 2011. For those who want to learn more about this tea, a visit to Verdant Tea's clear and informative website is well worth it. The leaves are slender and very long, with a grassy scent.

I followed the recommended directions and infused 4 grams of leaf in 8 ounces of water for 35 seconds. The cup smells predominantly of toasted grains. There are some dust particles floating at the bottom. Otherwise it's a clear dark tan colour. Taking a sip, what strikes me is the long-lasting honey-sweet, peachy finish. The flavour becomes more floral as the tea cools, resembling lilac and lily of the valley. There are also some nut and smoke notes but these pale in comparison to the sweet finish. For a first cup it's quite good.

Verdant Tea suggests that the leaves can be infused up to at least 5 times. I added 20 seconds each time, except for the last infusion, where I added 40. The tea is much less sweet and floral the second time around. Instead it's top notes are lightly smoky and woody, with a lingering grapefruit-like finish. My third cup is more mineral, but gets more flavourful as it cools. The main attraction here is clearly the very zesty grapefruit and black currant finish.

The last two cups have less depth and complexity than the previous steeps. Again strong, bitter grapefruit notes close each sip. There are no unpleasant aspects that develop but these are not particularly memorable either.

Beyond the first steep where some floral notes make an appearance, grapefruit notes are what dominate the cup. I found the zesty bitterness a bit over the top to my taste. I prefer dancongs that are more consistently sweet and floral. However, the leaves stand up well to multiple infusions and would be a good buy for grapefruit lovers.

— 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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