Review of Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea

8 of 105 of 55 of 580 of 100

This was among my favorite Dan Cong oolongs that I've tried. It slightly disappointed me though in that its best aromatic qualities seemed to vanish quickly after the first cup, but the remaining flavor was still very good.

Dry leaf consists of large, dark grayish-brown, twisted whole leaves, and is intensely aromatic, with the aroma strongly fruity as well as herbaceous and skunky.

Upon brewing, produces a surprisingly clear cup with a light brown color. Intensely fruity aroma to the brewed cup. TeaVivre describes this tea as having an aroma of Lichee, and I definitely think this is a good descriptor. Unlike some other fruity dancong that I've had though, this tea has great depth to it and there are so many other aromas that emerge...woody, honey-like floral tones, a hint of sweet peppercorn. Roasty finish. Flavor is surprisingly crisp without being bitter. The overall character of this tea seems to contain both warming and cooling attributes, which combined with the complex aroma, makes for a very complex drinking experience--at least in the first cup.

I brewed this tea multiple times, each time in a mug. This tea brewed multiple infusions, but I found that the first was the most complex. If I brewed the first cup for 3 minutes, the second infusion was very pleasant, but more like other oolongs and less unusual. The fruity aroma was mostly gone.

I strongly preferred shorter steepings--on the low end of TeaVivre's recommendations, or even shorter. They recommend starting with 1 minute, I recommend much briefer, and then making the infusions slightly longer for each cup. Brewed this way, the first cup was still the most complex. The subsequent cups were very similar to each other, and very different from the first: honey-like and mild, with faint woody tones, moving into herbaceous tones in later infusions. It was easy to get 4 infusions out.

All cups were full-bodied and rich.

I perceive this as a tea that is mind-blowingly complex in the first infusion, but winds down to an oolong that is good, but not remarkable, for at least 3 more cups, probably more if you're skilled in brewing. I think the price is very good for a tea of this quality.

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