Review: Canton Tea Co. 2010 White Dragon Gong Ting Cooked Loose Puerh

Canton Tea Co., Pu'er Tea Add comments
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cantonwhitedragonloosepuerhTypically, I never "rinse" tea. Chinese tea retailers often suggest I do so, dousing the leaves in hot water for a few seconds and then dumping that first infusion down the drain. That procedure always seemed like such a waste to me, and a surefire way to remove the guts-the true nature- of any tea before I could drink it.

When I opened this package of White Dragon, however, its pungency overwhelmed me. I was happy to follow Canton's directions to "wash tea briefly."

Why they call this "White Dragon" is a mystery. The leaves were a malty brown that brewed up a deep, reddish-black elixir that was nowhere as ripe smelling as the dry leaves. (Thanks to that "washing" I'm sure!)

The flavor was mild for a pu'er tea. It had composted, hay-like undertones, to be sure, but its dominant characteristics were malty and sweet. That's because this was a "Gong Ting" pu'er, which literally translates as"Imperial Court" in Chinese. "Gong Ting" tea, however, means "highest grade," implying "suitable for the imperial court." I felt privileged to be drinking it.

At about 7 dollars an ounce, White Dragon is not cheap. But like any good pu'er, a little goes a long way.  The same leaves can produce up to 10, robust, infusions. As recommended, I brewed them in just-below boiling water (203 degrees, if you're the scientific type,) for about a minute the first time. Subsequent batches need more time, especially if you like your tea strong.

Canton's website has lots of interesting information in their "tea school," which is easily accessible from the the White Dragon page on their website. Reading it might help you understand this tea, and therefore, enjoy it. I certainly did.  I rate it a 9.5.


— To purchase Canton Tea Co. 2010 White Dragon Gong Ting Cooked Loose Puerh, 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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