Sunday, January 18, 2009

90's "Jing Zhu" Golden Pearls Dancong

Class: Oolong
Origin: Guangdong Province, China
Year: 1990's
Vendor: Hou De Asian Art (Product page)
Price: $24.50 (2 oz) / $44.10 (4 oz)

Dry leaf
I used this amount of leaf and filled the gaiwan halfway with water, roughly 60 mL. [Sorry for the noisy photo, it was dark.]

For whatever reason, I always seem to forget about dancong. I don't know why, as good dancong can be absolutely amazing, but I never think about it when shopping for tea. Thanks are due to Adrian for this sample— I probably would have passed over this tea, and I'm very glad I didn't. Plus, this is an odd dancong as it is rolled into balls instead of twisted, and I love trying weird teas. It is also aged. Mmmm.

Celadon cups
One of my Christmas presents: two crackle-glaze celadon cups from Dragon Tea House. Thanks Mom!

The opening-of-the-bag experience was, sadly, disappointing. I guess I'm just spoiled by Imen's fantastic dancongs, as now I expect dancong aroma to fill the entire room when released from its mylar prison. However, this tea smells absolutely fantastic after a quick rinse in boiling water. I kid you not, it smelled just like blueberry-lemon muffins. Mmmmmmm.

Dragon gaiwan
My new favorite gaiwan. Thanks to Stacey (GeekGirlUnveiled) for all the photos of hers, and thanks to Adrian for giving me my own. :)

Even the first infusion has solid flavor, which is pretty uncommon for dancong. Different temperatures seem to bring out different flavors, which was pretty fun. Slightly cooler water brings out blueberry-lemon muffin, while boiling water makes it taste more like grapefruit (I guess the extra heat pulls out some sourness, which really isn't bad here). Whatever temperature you use, you will be rewarded by bright, fanciful flavors and a solid aftertaste. The texture is a bit thin and there I found little to no oiliness, but the flavor and aroma make up for these shortcomings.

You have no idea how difficult it is to arrange things like this in a straight line. Who knew?

This is a fantastic tea. It is pretty expensive at $24.50 for 2 oz, but compared to other dancong, that's not such a bad price.


Brittiny said...

Blueberry-lemon muffins... interesting...

Great post and awesome pictures (as always). Congrats on the handsome new teaware! :)

Bret said...

I had some of this tea also, I liked it but it can be a little overwhelming. To me the aroma is like a really intense Mi Lan Dan Cong.

Brent said...

Thanks to the both of you for your comments!


I can see how it could be overwhelming at times, that is a good point. I don't drink dancong enough to remember what the different varieties are like, but the aroma and flavor of this tea is familiar. Thanks for your insight. :)


Stacey said...

those little cups are GORGEOUS! I guess it's time I finally get an order in to DTH. Should look around and see if there are any "must try" teas.

Brent said...


Aren't they? They look much better in person than on the DTH website, and are better quality than I expected, too. I've wanted the ones from Tea Masters for a while, but these were much cheaper.

I think I remember hearing that DTH's Da Hong Pao is quite good, but I've never tried it myself.

Thanks for the comment!


Anonymous said...

Loved the review, and the photos:) I've never tried Dancong, but it sounds interesting. Has to be one of the few times that sourness is not a bad thing in a tea!

Anonymous said...


We just came across your blog and your Flickr page, (I think we're already contacts on there) and were wondering whether you would like to sample some of our teas? If you email me at I can arrange for some to be sent out to you.



Anonymous said...

I also bought Jing Zhu from Houde! Love this tea...intense fragrance, not everyday tea but definetely an esquisite one! I bought my second batch and intending to keep it for the future! Cheers! :o)

party supplies for college students said...

Thanks for the info.

teafiend said...

that golden dragon gaiwan is gorgeous. where can i find it?

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