Red Leaf Phoenix Mountain Dancong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Invader Zim
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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From Verdant Tea

Chi Ye literally means “red leaf”. This tea is a great archetypal dancong oolong with both the greener notes of a Huang Zhi and the darker qualities of Mi Lan. After an initial warming sensation on the palate, we are left with an intriguing camphor-like cooling quality in the throat, which was fascinating enough for us to include this in the reserve club. Honeycrisp apple notes come in through the aftertaste.

Steeping: Use 5-7g in a four ounce vessel. Do one rinse with fresh filtered under-boiling (200 degree) water and then infuse for 2-3 seconds per steeping. Steep at least 12 times.

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2 Tasting Notes

174 tasting notes

This is another one from the reserve club. I brewed this one in my yixing, which has a 4-8 second pour depending on how full I fill it. I used 205*F water and went on for 12 steeps. The when I opened the bag I mostly smelled the roasty notes. The dry leaves are mostly shades of brown with a few olive colored leaves thrown in. The wet leaves smelled roasty and cinnamon apple. The infusion was a nice dark golden color and smelled roasty and woodsy.

The tea started out almost like a Mi Lan. It was very juicy and held roasty notes along with fruity, floral, woodsy, melon, and a campfire minus the smoke. It was quite nice. This lasted for a while and around steep four I started to get an interesting thickness in the aftertaste in the back of my throat, this lasted and got stronger as the steeping continued.

Shortly thereafter, the tea started to mellow. There were still roasty notes and a juicy quality, but not as strong. The floral notes started to get stronger and the fruit notes started to fade out. An herbaceous and vegetal note started to come in too around steep 6. Also, the thick aftertaste in the back of the throat started to consume the top-back part of my palate and had a slight almond taste to it.

Then steep seven changed completely. The tea went very floral on me, gardenia, with a note of melon dew, and a vegetal note. The thickness was slowly crawling forward, coating my tongue. No note of fruit or juiciness, no roasty qualities either.

Steeps seven and eight were the same, but a spice note started to come in, focusing on the tip of my tongue. Cinnamon, or nutmeg perhaps, I couldn’t be sure.

Steep ten through twelve did another 180 on me, going back to the beginning steeps, although it was mellower this time. It sounded the return of juiciness, with notes of fruit, spice, with a hint of vegetal hanging around.

I really enjoyed this tea and how it changed. It’s what I like and look for in dancongs. Their ability to have so many notes, the ability to change so drastically, their ability to surprise you in pleasant ways!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

I think you should try JK’s this years’ nonpareil dancongs. So far I find them much better than what Verdant ever offered, even with reserve club. Probably only Mi Lan comes close but not exactly.

Invader Zim

Thanks for the recommendation Zeks, I will have to give them a try!

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3294 tasting notes

Awhile back Invador Zim & I did a trade. I think it was the first month of verdant’s TOTM reserve club, & not everyone got the same teas, but there was enough for more than one sampling. Since we had different teas, we swapped, so that we could each try them all. Thanks Zim!

This is one of the teas I sipped on over the course of the afternoon.
Dry, the leaves had a light roasty scent.
I pre-heated my Gaiwan & let them sit in there for a few minutes, & they took on a caramelized plum scent.
After the rinse, they smelled like smoked umeboshi plums.

The tea was golden in color. I was expecting more of a reddish color, as the dry leaves were tinged so, but once they hit the hot water they really were green.

I’m not a huge fan of dancongs, I might as well admit it. I went through many short steepings, & the flavors that I made note of were incense, a little toastiness, & a perfumey floral edge. There was gentle fruitiness, melon & plum. A little bitterness, a little salt in the aftertaste.

It was a pleasant tea, not something I’d buy, but nice to sample.

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