Review: Canton Tea Co. Ba Xian Dan Cong

Canton Tea Co., Oolong Tea Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"A highly temperamental tea that is just too fussy with regards to preparation parameters"
Vanessa’s Teaview: 6/10
Other Teaviews: Katie gave it 8.9/10, MaryAnn gave it 8/10, Jamie gave it 9/10
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This is a fairly unique tea in that it is a rare single bush tea, which means (quoting the CTC website) that "the leaves actually do come from just one tree". The leaves are huge, long and very loosely twisted, displaying a greenish-brown color. The dry leaves have a strong aroma that is typical of Dan Cong oolongs. I noticed a nice blend of floral, fruity, and what I can only describe as sour notes combining to produce the aroma. I used sub-boiling water and infused the leaves for three minutes. The infusion was a very pale translucent yellow color. The flavor was very mild and requried my undivided attention to really even get much of a sense of its flavor. To be honest, for the first few sips I didn't detect much more than warm water. What little flavor was there was subtly floral. After several more attempts at this infusion, I decided that perhaps I had just not prepared the tea properly, so I tried a second infusion, using a much larger volume of leaves (although I think it's fair to say that what I had used on the first infusion seemed more than adequate). To prevent a weak flavor, I used lots more leaves and added 30 seconds to the infusion time. This time, the liquid was a darker, cloudy, yellow-brown color. The flavor was fruity and floral, although more so floral. However, there was now a bitterness that was a big turn-off to me. As I had consumed all of my sample on these two infusions, I could not attempt any other infusions to try to get this tea right. The CTC webpage for this tea does suggest that this tea has some flexibility, as rather than providing a recommended steep time, it is noted that you can brew to your taste.
I found the situation to be that this is a highly temperamental tea that is just too fussy with regards to preparation parameters. In my opinion, this tea is just not worth the effort. I have had several other CTC Dan Congs, and they each were fantastic, and any one of them was far superior to this offering. I would recommend any of those other teas in a heartbeat, as the leaves of those teas delivered wonderful flavor in a less finicky package. If you have an ample supply of these leaves and plenty of time to experiment with different tea-to-water ratios as well as brew times, then maybe this really will deliver a "wow" experience, however I never reached it.

— To purchase Canton Tea Co. Ba Xian 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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One Response to “Review: Canton Tea Co. Ba Xian Dan Cong”

  1. Edgar Says:

    Hi Vanessa

    I’m surprised you didn’t like this Dan Cong. This is my personal favourite of all our Dan Cong teas and is a much higher grade AAA vs A than the Mi Lan and Yu Lan Dan Cong teas.

    The brewing is a little tricky and I would recommend using a gaiwan with a large volume of leaves to get the most out of this tea. Using this method I have had 20+ infusions out of this tea.

    Hope this helps.

    Edgar
    Director at Canton Tea Co

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