I finished off a sample of this a few hours ago. I had first tried this tea a few months ago and jotted down notes, apparently not in my notebook because I can’t find them. Oh well.
Gone gaiwan, 6.8g, 100mL, 212F, rinse (drank) followed by 9 steeps at 8/10/12/16/20/30/45/60/90s
The dry leaf had sweet and bright aromas of honeydew, white grape, pear mingling with heavier scents of light roast coffee, brown sugar, biscuit and almond. Warming the leaf brought additions of a light, sweet mint, white peach and asian pear. The rinse transformed the leaf aroma into vanilla, pear, roast, a piercing scent like champagne and an unidentified floral (lily of the valley?).
Like the unroasted Qi Lan I had earlier today, I drank the rinse of this one. It was very clean and fruity with a good fragrance. Already the bottom of the cup had aromas of brown sugar, butter, violet, iris, osmanthus and another unidentified floral (lotus?).
The first several steeps were like drinking a fruit salad, thick and oily with flavors and aftertastes of lychee, honeydew, cantaloupe?, white peach, pear, minerals, honey, osmanthus, ruby red grapefruit, pomelo and that unplaced bottom-of-the-cup floral. Despite the light and bright fruity flavors, the tea also had a heavy quality. At this point, and this happened to me the first time I drank this tea, I had to lie down. I fell asleep, ha! Again! I continued the session several hours later and with the fourth steep, the liquor brought forward the typical dan cong bitterness, tongue-numbing and astringency but the aftertaste was still absolutely glowing. Around the sixth steep of 30s, the tea faded into a light fruitiness and continued to get lighter until the brew became too bitter for me to continue.
I feel like this was a pretty approachable dan cong. It lacked the extreme bitterness I’ve had in others and performed well with both more leaf/boiling water and less leaf/lower temperature (I believe my first session of this was 195F and 5g and it was very similar). This tea seemed to shine with its aftertastes while having less impact on the sip, though if left to cool, this performance switched. I enjoyed the lighter astringency and bitterness compared to other dan cong. The sweetness was not overwhelming and was very well balanced with the fruity flavors. Overall, a very pleasant tea.
Flavors: Almond, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cantaloupe, Citrus, Coffee, Floral, Fruity, Grapefruit, Grapes, Honey, Honeydew, Lychee, Mineral, Mint, Osmanthus, Peach, Pear, Sweet, Vanilla, Violet