348 Tasting Notes
It’s not everyday that you find a Dan Cong by accident. In this case, I was trying to catalog (a travailing feat, I assure you) my canisters. I found this amidst a pu-erh canister for some reason. Naturally, I gave it a go…well…a day or two later.
It’s a very green oolong with a buttery profile, similar to Taiwanese oolongs in delivery. That and it gets even more so with each successive steep. Cream and flowers also make their mandatory appearance on the palate.
I have yet to come up with a requisite flavor profile for the Dan Congs I’ve tried. They all differ significantly. Guess I’m just going to have to stick to drooling noises.
When I pulled this out, I thought it was going to be an oolong. I mean, “Bai Chai” just sounds like an oolong-y sorta name. Surprised me that I was looking at a needle-thin green tea. I should read more.
Anyway…the liquor was clear and the taste alternated between grass and grape. Very close to Long Jing, methought.
Yet another one from the inventory archive. I had no idea I still had this, and it had been on mothballs for at least half a year. This was a Keemun from the 2011 Spring Harvest, but I had never opened the sample. Results? This was one of the maltiest Keemuns I’ve ever tasted. Sure, the requisite sweetness was there, but it brewed amber and pounded the tongue with burliness. I guess that’s what happens when you forge-…er, I mean, “age” a Keemun.
I didn’t know I had this until I was going through my cupboard. Nor did I know what to make of it – was it a sheng pu-erh or a shou? I couldn’t tell. On smell, it seemed cooked. On taste…things get dicey. If it’s a shou, then it’s a very good shou. If it’s a sheng, it needs work. But it lasts quite a few infusions…and it woke me up plenty. So, I guess that’s something.
This is another custom blend from my blogger buddy – Teaconomics. Took me awhile to get a write-up about it done and to issue the proper feedback. Like the Taiga blend, this was smoky but with an underpinning of…something else. Hard to describe but easy to taste. And it’s smoky…I love smoke. I just do.
Oooooooh man. Now this is what I think about when I hear the words “Dan Cong”. The flavor is tart, slightly nutty, sweet, and with an added dash of butter. It tastes more like an aged Dan Cong than a young ‘un, probably the result of using old growth trees for the batch. Not quite up there with the aged Dan Congs I’ve tried, but pretty darn close.
I just got these in the mail – a couple of new Dan Congs from Canton Tea. Took me about a week to finally get to them, though. I had been so entrenched in Darjeelings of late, I neglected all other forms. So, I dusted off my trusty gaiwan and gave this a go.
They weren’t kidding when they said it was a floral and buttery oolong. On a blind taste-test, I would’ve thought this was a Taiwanese varietal. It’s very Li Shan-ish in some respects, minus the sweetness. Butter and flowers (lotus blossom, maybe?) dominate the profile. Normally, I would subject each infusion to their own notes, but the flavors remained fairly consistent throughout.
It’s not as tart as aged Dan Congs (which I like), but it’s still quite exquisite.
Backlogging a bit…
On one of my all-to-regular Monday visits to Smith HQ, I had the pleasure of trying this. It was my first Darjeeling of the 2012 batch, and – boy – was it different. Where most first flushes taste like spring leaves and spices, this had an added toasty element I didn’t quite expect. With the spicy-grape and leafy underpinning, this was a more-than-pleasant intro to the new Darjeeling crop.
Like a lot of the Devotea’s teas I’ve tried, this had the same malty underpinning with a smooth – almost floral – delivery. This, more so, though. Likely to match its namesake. Not quite as robust as the 1910, but a little more refined than Finbarr’s Revenge. This one’s a sneaky mistress.