Review: Canton Tea Co. Xing Ren Dan Cong

Canton Tea Co., Oolong Tea Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"It has the nice ripe fruit notes of a good Dan Cong oolong, with just a hint of earthy flavor. There is a very subtle almond flavor, but it is so subtle that had I not been looking for it, it may have gone unnoticed. "
Vanessa’s Teaview: 7.5/10
Other Teaviews: Katie gave it 8.8/10, Chantal gave it 8/10, Sophie gave it 9.2/10
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I've reviewed quite a few teas over the years, and Canton's Xing Ren Dan Cong may be among the most specialized teas I've tasted. According to the Canton website, this tea, which is touted for its natural almond aroma and flavor, can only be produced by selecting leaves from specific trees that are about 80 years old and the farmer then stays up all night to undertake a skilled processing to ensure that the leaves get just the right amount of oxidation to bring out the natural almond flavor. You've got to respect the farmer who can produce this tea!
The dry leaves have a unique aroma that balances earthy, fruity, and nutty tones. I can't say that I personally detected the almond aroma, but I did get a general nuttiness. For preparing this tea, Canton Tea suggests a very brief (as in 4 seconds!) infusion in 205 degree water, with up to 12 subsequent infusions. I followed their guidance, although I only prepared three subsequent infusions. The tea is a golden amber-brown color, translucent, which seem to reveal the light-bodied nature of this tea. The flavor is delicate yet complex. It has the nice ripe fruit notes of a good Dan Cong oolong, with just a hint of earthy flavor. There is a very subtle almond flavor, but it is so subtle that had I not been looking for it, it may have gone unnoticed. Despite being a fairly light-bodied brew, the mellow flavor does linger for a bit. I added a few seconds of steep time to each subsequent infusion. While the general flavor profile didn't change much over the course of the re-steepings, I did noticed that the strength of the tea reduced over time. Canton does say you can infuse the same leaves up to 12 times, but I think that by the time you got into double digits of infusions, the tea would be very dilute. Overall, this was an interesting tea with a fairly impressive background. The flavor is clean and fruity and it delivers what I expect from a good Dan Cong. Given the high degree of specialty and relative rarity of this tea, this one is rather pricy, which might exclude most people from buying it. But if you are a big Dan Cong lover and have extra cash hanging around, this might be a good tea to try.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Xing Ren Dan Cong, 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: Vanessa Vanessa
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