A most fantastic dan cong, and something new to me. This tea went through a very light roasting without any charcoal roasting. The result is fantastic. No flavor was compromised and instead a lovely, intoxicating floral notes of magnolia exploded through the liquor and the wet leaves. However, while definitely being a huge pro for this tea, it also has the potential to be this tea’s downfall. This dan cong becomes unbelievably astringent. Fast. Oversteep it for a couple seconds and it’s like your eating flowers. And not the ones that you’re supposed to eat. It just becomes really unpalatable. Also, it comes out in the mouthfeel as well. It’s a pretty “chewy” tea and I there is this waxiness throughout every steep (although in varying intensities). Interestingly, though, this transfers over into the aftertaste quite well. It’s pleasantly thick, very floral, with a honey sweetness.
I’m not going to discredit this one just for those flaws, though. Even though it’s pretty high-maintenance, I performed tons of steeps (upwards of 12) and it had some great complexity, even granting some spicy notes into the eighth steep. It has some fantastic flavors, melding fruit and floral notes nicely. It included some notes of kelp and nut, and also the greener spectrum of dan cong flavors. It all reminds me a bit of a dragonwell green mixed with a mi lan xiang dan cong. Besides the unbalance caused by the over-astringency, it became one of my favorite dan cong flavor profiles.
The leaves are also fantastic. They’re massive. Enormous. Probably the largest dried leaves of an oolong that I’ve had. They have great consistency in size, almost no broken pieces, no dust, and very fragrant, with aromas of dried fruits, berries, grasses, and honey. Although of inconsistent coloration dry, when wet, they show an even coloration of amber-brown and army green, nice patterns of bruising, and lovely looking veins glowing from the blades.
As this was from a small sample I received at the Tea Trekker store, I was grateful for the opportunity to try this tea, and it provided an excellent experience, even if it was a bit difficult to get right.