In my previous post (F is for Feng Huang Dan Cong) I offered some basic information and history of the tea. Now on to the tasting of Feng Huang Dan Cong!
The dried tea leaves…
Were very aromatic even before they were steeped. Their aroma was to my mind a crazy, complex combination of something roasted and woody, but at the same time a sweet honey-ness with floral, fruity, and vegetal notes all at the same time… crazy huh! Very difficult to tease out the aromas – orchids, peaches and maybe roasted kale??? (Kale not being one of my favorites, but…) The leaves themselves were slightly curled, wiry and twisted into large, long thin pieces. They were deep, deep dark brown almost black in color, with a very slight hint of red – really pretty!
I used a gaiwan – water temperature was 90 degrees C. My initial infusion was for 1 minute. The infused liquor was a light, clear, burnt honey amber and smelled amazing! A perfumy (is there such a word?) aroma of orchids, and charred delicious peaches, with a hint of smoke. The flavor was distinct and even more complex than the aroma. I liked the prominent peach notes that I tasted, combined with a sweet, roasted honey taste. As it cooled, a more potent woody/earthy flavor came through. There was no astringency or bitterness whatsoever initially, but a bit began to come through slightly on the finish with the cooler cup. The mouth feel was refreshing – soft and somewhat silky, and its sweet and floral flavors lingered on the back of my tongue for quite some time even after my cup was empty. The leaves also offered a satisfying second infusion. The second infusion had a similar flavor profile as the first, although I could now pick up some citrus notes. It was also a bit sweeter, but a little milder as far as the roasty-ness went, but it was still bold enough to present a delicious second cup. I know I could have continued with additional infusions.
Wow! Quite the unique experience. I would highly recommend this tea for those who love oolongs or for those looking for a unique tea. It’s a very complex tea. Feng Hunag Dan Cong can be brewed again and again, presenting new facets of flavor each time! In the end a rich cup that is distinctive and perfect for multiple infusions. Just be careful not to over steep. On the rating scale this tea is a 4.
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase)