Review of Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
9 of 105 of 54 of 590 of 100
SuperbExcellentGood Value

Usually when I write a review, I do it from the perspective of trying to give whoever reads it a sense of what to expect - what the tea is likely to taste like, how it will respond to different kinds of brewing conditions, what other kinds of teas and experiences it's likely to resemble - rather than saying whether I think it's good or bad.

In the case of this tea, I loved it so much that it's hard for me to write that kind of review. It's unusual, much fruitier than I'm used to from oolongs, while at the same time having that very earthy, slightly nutty, slightly roasty quality that I'm more used to from that kind of tea. The dry leaves smell mostly earthy and a little musky, but once brewed, the aroma becomes brightly fruity. The website claims it smells of litchi, and I think that's exactly right - the strong litchi scent was uncanny.

I brewed it at or near boiling, and played around with steep times a lot. In general, the shorter the steep, the more fruity the tea, but even relatively long steepings (5 minutes and more) didn't completely brew the juicy litchi quality out of it. Under any conditions, the taste of the brew is complex. The initial taste is very fruity and not so much sweet as juicy and honey-like, and it develops a more and more earthy quality towards the middle and finish. Steeping it relatively long makes it go a little bitter on the finish, but not exceedingly, and in exchange the brew becomes richer.

I'm not sure if this particular flavor profile will appeal to others, but I really, completely loved it. It was delicious, warming, and invigorating. I loved the taste, and felt awake without feeling overcaffeinated after drinking rather a lot of it.

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