Review: Canton Tea Co. Ba Xian Dan Cong

Canton Tea Co., Oolong Tea Add comments
Katie’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"All the bitterness, dryness, and flavour of grapefruit with an encompassing floral component."
Katie’s Teaview: 8.9/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 6/10, MaryAnn gave it 8/10, Jamie gave it 9/10
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This Dan Cong is from Wu Dong Mountain, and as with all single tree teas, I fully imagine this will be an extremely picky leaf to brew. When you prepare a Dan Cong correctly, you can get a beautiful cup, but if you veer too far off course, it can be pretty average. And at this price, average just won't cut it.

I put 10 grams of leaf in a 150 mL pre-heated yixing. The leaves are beautiful shades of green, brown, and bronze and are already piquing my nostrils. I rinse them quickly then steep for 15 seconds and get a clear, bright yellow liquor. It's a brilliantly aromatic tea, but even more impressive is the fact that the flavour lives up to the scent. It's a surprisingly spritely cup. It is creamy, floral, and a hint fruity. The floral and citrus combined definitely resemble grapefruit blossoms, especially coupled with the fact that the citrus borders on astringent. There is a hint of pleasant bitterness and a creamy aftertaste.

My second steep is 30 seconds. The liquor is bright yellow, thick, and somewhat cloudy. It is creamy, grassy, floral, citrus, and pleasantly bitter. Again, it is both strongly aromatic and flavourful. It's a brilliant cup.

Third steep: 30 seconds. This steep has all the bitterness, dryness, and flavour of grapefruit with an encompassing floral component. It even leaves a grapefruit-like dryness and acidity in a lingering finish. It's always amazes me how a good Dan Cong can taste like something entirely different than tea.

Steep 4: 50 seconds, 5: 60 seconds, 6: 75 seconds, 7: 90 seconds, 8: 2 minutes, 9: 3 minutes. Pulling the leaves out of the teapot is an interesting experience. They have expanded so much that they just keep coming and coming, like a clown car.

Around steep five, while the tea is still flavourful, it is less distinctly grapefruit. There was also little floral left, but it was still good. I prefer the earlier steeps of this tea, but the later ones are still pleasant. It comes with a pretty high-end price tag, but then again, it's a pretty high-end tea. It's a quality, interesting, unique tea that's great for special occasions or when you're losing your faith in humanity and want to be reminded that there's still beauty in the world.

— 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.

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3 Responses to “Review: Canton Tea Co. Ba Xian Dan Cong”

  1. Pamela Dean Says:

    Do you, perhaps, know the pH of the water you used for the Ba Xian from Canton Tea Co? Or its source? I appreciate the detail in this review, Katie, and I enjoy reading your contributions very much. I would love it if the reviewers would give us the date they received their tea sample, or at least show the date the review was posted. Tea batches can vary quite a bit from season to season, as you know. Thanks for lending your expertise to the Dan Cong selections out there!

  2. Pamela Dean Says:

    Okay, i see the day icon on the reviews, but I can’t find a year. Are my eyes failing me?

  3. Katie Says:

    I’ve never checked the pH balance of my water. I just use my city tapwater. I’ve tried a few bottled waters and various other experiments with water, and I’ve decided that the tap water here is the most-neutral tasting of anything I’ve had.

    I’m pretty sure this was the 2010 tea. I will try harder to include the harvest year in my reviews from now on.

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