Review: Canton Tea Co. Xing Ren Dan Cong

Canton Tea Co., Oolong Tea Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Once the tea was sure of itself, it really shone."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.8/10
Other Teaviews: Chantal gave it 8/10, Vanessa gave it 7.5/10, Sophie gave it 9.2/10
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This is the big leagues. This is no commercial-grade 'Dan Cong' hobbled together from several Phoenix Mountain trees. This high-grown tea is exclusive to Canton Tea Company and picked from just one tea bush. It is the 2010 Autumnal harvest and comes from the Wu Dong Mountain in Guang Dong Province. The leaves are huge, twisted, dark brown.

I put 6 grams of leaf in a 100 mL preheated porcelain gaiwan. After a quick rinse, I steep at 200° for 15 seconds. The buttery texture and thick mouthfeel make this tea a full-bodied drink. It is creamy with a hint of oak and macadamia. The predominant aspect is the full, lingering vegetal flavour.

Steep 2: 195°, 20 seconds. An oakiness sits on the front of the tongue. It is creamy with a tart apricot flavour and again, the tea has a strong vegetal component.

Steep 3: 195°, 20 seconds. This one is very consistent with the second steep. Aside from the added fruitiness of the latter two, so far the tea has been quite consistent. The leaves have turned from their deep brown to shades of brown and green. At the end of this steep, I drink the tea after it has fully cooled, and it is both excellent and extremely fruity.

Steep 4: 195°, 23 seconds. The woodiness is beginning to read as dryness now, but it is balanced by the stronger fruitiness. The tea is at last beginning to change and develop. Now I detect a hint of floral.

Steep 5: 23 seconds. This is more mellow than the preceding cups. It no longer leaves my mouth feeling dry, and it has a hint of citrus in the back of my throat. Now the resemblance to magnolia is unsubtly noticeable.

Steep 6: 25 seconds. It's uncanny how much this cup resembles apricots. What was before a fleeting flavour is now the focus of the cup.

Steep 7: 35 seconds. 8: 45 seconds. 9: 60 seconds. 10: 90 seconds. Milky and apricot flavours through the remainder of the steeps. The sweetness of these cups is only really at the beginning of the sip and doesn't stay around.

For me, this tea really hits its stride at the fifth infusion. The first four cups were good and met my expectations, but the flavours were a touch jumbled; hard to read. By steep five, the flavours have mellowed and seem more mature. This is obviously a preference thing. Some may enjoy the bolder cacophony of the former infusions, but I enjoyed the authoritative simplicity of the later flavours. Once the tea was sure of itself, it really shone. This was where it became clear to me how quality this tea is - how distinct. It's always amazing how Dan Congs, teas that are so similar in style and pedigree, can be so vastly different from each other. Another excellent leaf from Canton Tea Company.

— 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: Katie Katie Reviewer
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