Review of 2010 Mt. Wu Dong Red Tea (black tea) Dan Cong

8 of 103 of 53 of 567 of 100

Very unlike any other dancong I've tried. The dry leaf of this dancong has a savory, smoky quality, but is nonetheless recognizable as a dan cong. The aroma of the dry leaf is reminiscent of some Darjeelings (ones that I am not a fan of, incidentally). Not even a hint of floral or fruity qualities.

Upon drinking the first infusion (3 min.), the herbaceous tones of the aroma develop a great deal. This tea's aroma reminds me of being in a forest in central Pennsylvania: earthy, dark, reminiscent of wet leaf litter. The overall character of the tea, including the savory flavor, reminds me of stuffing at Thanskgiving. This may be a spring harvest but it feels like an autumn tea and I feel out of place drinking it mid-June.

I made a second, longer infusion and it had a very different character. The savory qualities are diminished and the overall character is more like other dancongs. It also feels a little more springy or summery...lighter, fresher aromas, tones of celery. Surprisingly, fruity tones start to come out in this infusion. I enjoyed this cup much more than the first. I also found it more full-bodied, which could simply be a factor of the longer steeping time.

Third infusion changed a bit less but was still quite aromatic. It was also very different...mostly like cooked vegetables...makes me wonder if I perhaps overdid the brewing temperature and should have used a lower temperature for each infusion.

I wish I had more of this tea to experiment with! Like most dancongs I think I might get better at brewing it if I experimented more.

Interesting and worth trying. I'm not sure if this would become an everyday favorite for me. While I haven't rated this tea among the best of the best, I think it would be worth ordering a sample of this's really unlike anything I've ever tried and even if you don't like it or feel ambivalent about it, I think it could greatly broaden your experience to try it.

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