Friday, January 29, 2010

TEA - Brewing the Phoenix

As I predicted earlier, my silly Cuppa' Chaa tea series title has fallen by the wayside in favor of the simpler, cleaner, more concise, TEA. My year in Chinese tea continues, with another look at a different type of oolong, the Phoenix Dan Cong oolong. For a quick primer on the history of this tea's name, check out the blog of the owner of Tea Habitat, an excellent Los Angeles area based store and website specializing in Phoenix Dan Cong teas. By the way, I must point out that I love the focus of Imen's selections. Yes, she does offer a few various types of Chinese green, white and black tea, but primarily it's all about her greatest tea passion, Phoenix Dan Cong.

Tea Habitat Da Wu Ye (Big Dark Leaf) Special Grade Spring 2009

Judging by the color of the infused leaves, this oolong from the Phoenix mountains outside of Chaozhou in eastern Guandong province, is not too heavily oxidized or roasted. It has a unique, delicious, slightly honeyed flavor of stone fruits and mandarins. It's neither as green tasting as a formosa (taiwanese) oolong nor as roasted as a wuyi or anxi oolong.

Leaves prior to infusion - they are indeed big and dark

Leaves after a few infusions

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