Firebird 2015 Fenghuang Dancong Songzhong Oolong from Bitterleaf is really something special! It has a crustiness or bakey-like flavor to it – much like some of the more bakey black teas I enjoy but with the leaf of an oolong! The product description says it’s ‘the closest thing they’ve experienced to drinking a sticky bun’. I was intrigued at that statement. However I didn’t have that exact experience – I did still have a wonderful sipping experience regardless!
Having said that Firebird 2015 Fenghuang Dancong Songzhong Oolong from Bitterleaf is slightly sweet and does have that touch of natural caramel goodness laying underneath while still providing a VERY strong crustiness to the sip and I find that amazingly wonderful!
For kicks I decided to add a few pure sugar crystals to this – which I almost NEVER do – but I had them on hand. By doing so I found that Firebird 2015 Fenghuang Dancong Songzhong Oolong from Bitterleaf taste a bit more like the ‘sticky bun’ nod the product description claimed.
The natural honey-like aftertaste is something that certainly lingers on to the aftertaste. This is a really interesting offering from Bitterteas and I’m honored to have tried it!
Leaf Type: Oolong Tea
Where to Buy: Bitterleaf
One of our first two selections from the world of oolong, our Firebird Song Zhong Dancong is medium oxidized with a roasted sweetness. With honey and caramel as the most prominent flavours, this tea is about the closest thing we’ve experienced to drinking a sticky bun. The soup brews also out a clear honey-orange, but no actual honey was added, we swear.
This tea comes to us farm-direct from Chao Zhou.
Learn even more about this tea here.
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!
Where To Buy: Canton Tea Company
Dan Cong is the champagne of oolongs: ripe with intense fruit and sweetness. This high grade example comes from a plantation on the lower slopes of Wu Dong Mountain, Chao Zhou. The leaves are thoroughly fermented and baked to produce a rich liquor with unique flowery and honeyed notes that can be enjoyed through multiple infusions.
Our Buyer’s notes
“This tea is more heavily baked than the Song Zhong Dan Cong to allow the tea to produce its unique honey and lychee flavours.”
Oolong’s are fun! They are vary diverse! Everything about them from the leave to the color and aroma and taste to the after taste…even the way they sit in the strainer once infused!
With this specific one – Mi Lan Dan Cong from Canton – the description says floral and honey notes and I can certainly pick up on those notes! But what I also find interesting about this tea is…the scent. The scent reminds me of being out in nature…like in the middle of the woods or even on a beach…those familiar nature-smells! Then when you taste it…it’s not really what you expect…altho even more pleasant. There is a soothing and lingering yummy aftertaste, as well!
I almost forgot how much I enjoyed this Oolong. May it never slip my mind again! Lovely!