Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Le Palais des Thés
Feng Huang Dan Cong “Special” (Special Phoenix tea) comes from Guangdong province (Chao Zhou district) in China. The leaves, which are only fermented briefly, are generally very long (5 to 6 cm), and the liquor evokes fruity, floral and spicy notes.
This superior quality tea grows at a high altitude (1,500 metres), and pluckings are often reserved in advance by wealthy connoisseurs.
An exceptional tea with intense fruity, floral and spicy notes. Very rich and incredibly long in the mouth.
Learn more about this tea here.
As I prepared this tea, I was impressed with how fragrant it is. The strong aroma of spiced fruit with notes of flower filled the kitchen. My mouth started watering because my taste buds were anticipating the luscious flavor of a Phoenix Oolong! Yes!
To prepare this “Special” Feng Huang Dan Cong, I used my gaiwan and measured a bamboo scoop of tea into the bowl of the vessel. I then added enough water to cover the leaves (heated to 180°F) and let the tea “rinse” for 15 seconds. I strained off the liquid and discarded it, and then I steeped the rinsed leaves for 45 seconds. With each subsequent infusion, I add 15 seconds. I combine the first and second infusions to make my first cup. My second cup is infusion three and four. And so on . . .
When I brew tea this way (gong fu), I find that my first cup is usually the softest in flavor because the leaves haven’t fully opened yet. But this first cup is quite strong in flavor! Sweet! Delicious! Fruity, floral with intriguing spicy notes. It’s so warm and beautiful – a perfect tea for this chilly autumn day.
The sip starts with a note of sweetness that isn’t immediately recognized, but after a moment or two my palate decides it tastes like honey. I notice fruit notes – stone fruits, like a cross between nectarine and plum – mingling with the honey flavor. Floral notes begin to weave their way in and out just before mid-sip. There is a delicate undertone of spice throughout the sip and by the time I reach the tail, the spice comes through for a strong finish.
The second cup is much smoother than the first. It’s stronger in flavor, but the flavors seem to be more mellowed out now. They are less focused, as if they’ve been softened around the edges. The honeyed notes meld harmoniously with the fruit and flower notes and the spice is still strongest at the tail.
Later infusions continued to mellow. The flavor still strong, I kept noticing a more unified flavor where the fruit and the flower became more of a seamless note, and the spice progressed softly and came on strong at the end. The honeyed notes became less distinct as they seemed to become part of the floral, fruity flavors rather than it’s own individual flavor.
This is a really beautiful tea that was a real treat to explore! I highly recommend it!