Wednesday, March 04, 2009

2008 Da Wu Ye Jiang Hua Xiang Dancong

Class: Oolong
Origin: Guangdong province, China
Year: 2008
Vendor: Tea Habitat (Product page)
Price: $30 (1 oz)

Dry Leaf
A big thank you goes out to Victoria from TeaChat, who generously sent me a sample of this very fine (and very pricey) tea. I stupidly brewed this tea while focusing on something else the first time; I am glad I gave it the attention it deserves when I revisited it. "Da Wu Ye" translates to "Big Dark Leaf" and "Jiang Hua Xiang" translates to "Ginger Flower Fragrance."

Everything about this tea is subtle, which may or may not be a good thing. The dry leaf's aroma is almost undetectable. The flavor is mild, especially compared to the 90's Golden Pearls Dancong I recently tried. It is certainly not a powerhouse in any sense. However, it is a rewarding tea if one is in the mood for a subtle, delicate experience.

Liquor
This tasting session was one where all the pieces clicked into place. Forgive my waxing poetic, but the soft winter light was a perfect visual complement to this tea. It is lightly honey-sweet, with a clear but fragile ginger flavor and a sweet aftertaste. Gentle brewing seems to help with this tea; I used a relatively small amount of leaf (about 1/2 full, which really isn't that much with long dancong leaves) and shorter brewing times (5, 10, 20, 30, etc.) than I normally would.

Set-up
In addition to its wonderfully delicate flavor and sweet aftertaste, I felt warm and relaxed after drinking this tea. I couldn't tell you whether it was solely due to the tea or other factors, but the tea certainly didn't hurt.

This really is one of the finer teas I have ever had. It is not the most complex or the most powerful tea, but it does not waver in its subtlety or clarity of flavor.* As usual, Tea Habitat does not disappoint!

*Ugh, that sounds so corny! It is the best way I can think to describe it though, even if the purple prose does make me want to barf.

10 comments:

Victoria said...

Beautiful review. This is the first Dancong that really got to me. I was really amazed after many just so-so experiences. Glad you enjoyed it!

Bill said...

Great review even though the tea was a dud. :D

Brent said...

Victoria,

Thanks for the compliment, and of course thanks for the tea!

Bill,

It wasn't a dud! I'm just trying to be critical/balanced/whatever. :)

Thanks for the comments,
Brent

Arcane-Dissonance said...

You have one of the most simple, elegant selections of ware pictured here. Surely this is the minimalism we strive for when brewing. Simply beautiful!

May I ask where you obtained your ware and, specifically, that lovely cup?

Thank you!

Brent said...

Arcane-Dissonance,

Thank you! That is exactly what I am going for in my tea setups.

I bought that cup for a whopping $1.50 at Daiso, a 100-yen store that is popping up in a few locations in the states. The bamboo mat, plate, and bowl are from the same place, actually. The gaiwan is from Serenity Art, a store in Portland. I *think* I got my kettle from Imperial Tea Court, but there are a bunch of vendors who sell these. The glass bud vase is from Pottery Barn.

Thanks for the comment!

Arcane-Dissonance said...

Brent,

Interesting, I actually happen to have a few pieces brought back from Japan by some friends that are from Daiso. They are some of my favorite beautiful things and at such a resonable price!

Thanks,
Dissonance

Diana said...

Hi Brent,

As a fellow tea blogger I have to say, nice shot! Posting nice pictures is as much as an art as reviewing the tea.

Pat Canella said...

great review, awesome pictures as well! I really enjoy drinking tea just as much as the art!

Brent said...

Diana and Pat,

Thank you very much! I always appreciate feedback on my photos. :)

Brent

chai tea recipe said...

Very well written review.

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