Saturday, June 14, 2014

Teavivre: Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea, A Tea Review

I slept for a whopping twelve hours yesterday, wow! I was having some insomnia and ended up staying awake almost 24 hours, finally feeling sleepy I only expected to sleep for a short time. Big surprise for me when I woke up much later, very thirsty and quite a bit hungry. At least I feel mostly rested and a little bit less achy than I did previously, so clearly my body needed it.

Today's tea from Teavivre is Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea, a curly leafed oolong from Phoenix Mountain (or Feng Huang Shan) in Guangdong Province, China. I love curly leaf oolongs, mainly because steeping them gongfu cha style is very entertaining. In order to get the tastiest results, it is best to do really quick steeps, think around five seconds at the long end. These short steeps are very fun and change up the experience. I am getting ahead of myself, before I can think about steeping, I need to sniff the leaves! The aroma of the long, twisted leaves is a blend of sweet and sharp. There are notes of dried cherry and smoke with a finish of orchids and sweet potatoes.

After the very quick bath in the gaiwan, the leaves have an aroma similar to the dry leaves. It is smoky, more like coals than a roaring campfire. There is also the aroma of cherries, but it smells like fresh black cherries (I might have recently eaten those, just for reference) and it is nicely sweet. There is a finish of orchids, but it is just a passing wisp. The liquid has a faint coal and cherry with a hint of lychee, it is tantalizingly sweet.

The first steep is quite smooth, a very refreshing mouthfeel with really enjoyable effect that causes you to salivate. The taste is fairly light, a very sweet blend of cherries and lychees with a hint of pine resin. At the finish there is a little bit of coal, but mostly this tea is all sweetness.

Intense! The aroma of the second steep is so intensely sweet and fruity with notes of cherries and lychees. There is a nice finish of pine resin and orchids. It is one of those moments where I sniffed the tea and made funny noises because it smelled so good. This steep's mouthfeel is dry in comparison to the first, but it still has the salivary effect that very quickly balances out the dryness. The taste is a pretty balanced blend of coal and fruity sweetness with hints of orchid and pine resin at the finish. The aftertaste is slightly bitter coal, which is an interesting contrast to earlier's sweetness.

Teas I can get many steeps out of make me a happy sipper, so does the aroma of the third steep. It s intensely sweet and fruity, notes of honey and fruit nectar. It is very rich but also delicate, just like fresh fruit. Lke the previous steep the mouthfeel is dry and causes a salivary affect. The taste of this steep is a bit lighter, mostly sweet fruit with a nice finish of coal that gives the tea a slightly savory finish.

Oooh, we have a nice change for the fourth steep's aroma, where the previous ones have been quite sweet, this one is primarily coal and a fresh vegetation, alpine aroma. The taste is quite sweet and very light, it starts out cherries and fades to lychee, and then a finish of peaches. My tea is turning into a combination of some of my favorite fruits! There is the tiniest hint of coal at the finish, and the mouthfeel is smooth until the end where it turns dry.

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