Review: Chinese Tea Company Phoenix Dan Cong Gui Hua Xiang

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CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Offers five unique infusions. Sure to please almost anyone."
CJ’s Teaview: 9.5/10
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This  70-percent oxidized oolong was touted as tasting like osmanthus flowers.  Having never been to China where the flowers grow, and never having even heard of these tiny blossoms, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I needn't have worried.  The flowery sweetness of this particular Phoenix Dan Cong was similar enough to Dan Congs that tasted like orchids or honey.  What stood out for me was a tartness  that finished on the front of my tongue-at least with the first infusion.

Since I was part of a public tea tasting when I tried this Gui Hua Xiang (osmanthus) oolong, I was chagrined to find that I was the only person who loved that first cup.  Even the host (Chinese Tea Company owner Juyan Webster) explained that the first infusion of a Dan Cong is more for "warming up the leaf" and is never the best tasting.  So much for bragging about my palate!

Subsequent infusions were sweeter and fruitier, unveiling more of its osmanthus character, which was similar to apricots.  Other tasters liked it more the milder it got.  Since I prefer richer, stronger flavors, I hankered for the drier astringency of the early infusions.

Juyan brewed this Gongfu style, in which she combined not quite a teaspoon of leaves with three ounces of boiling water, steeped in a tiny teapot for mere seconds.   She brewed each infusion a little bit longer, and offered five servings total.

Though each of the tasters preferred a different version of this tea,  all enjoyed it.  I certainly did.  I rate it a 9.5.


— To purchase Chinese Tea Company Phoenix Dan Cong Gui Hua Xiang, 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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