|"The cup is very aromatic, with a robust smokiness, earthiness, and strong apricot notes."|
The leaves of this tea are small for a dan cong tea, only 0.5-1 inch in length. Other than the size, they’re appealing; they’re curled, dark brown with flecks of gold, and they smell brilliantly of apricot and smoke. Teavivre gives directions for either gong fu brewing or Western-style, but they’ve sent along plenty of leaf, so I go with gong fu.
I fill my porcelain gaiwan about 1/4 full of leaf, rinse, and steep at 195° for 30 seconds. The cup is very aromatic, with a robust smokiness, earthiness, and strong apricot notes. Because of the smaller leaf size, I’m not surprised to find the cup a bit harsh, a little acidic at the front of the sip and dry at the finish, but despite these notes it’s not really bitter, and the dry finish leaves me wanting more. And it’s backed by a brilliantly rich apricot flavour.
My second steep is already much milder. It’s easier to drink, and though still a bold cup, the apricot isn’t as shocking. Steep three is a little bitter but robust enough to handle it. I get a total of seven steeps from my leaves.
I brew it again western style, and though it’s got the apricot and some added lilac, there’s no smokiness now. It’s a bit of a let down after the gong fu – a tasty enough cup, but not interesting.
It’s definitely a commercial dan cong, but it’s also one of the most affordable ones I’ve seen. An everyday dan cong in both flavour and price.
— To purchase Teavivre Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea, 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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