Sunday, May 4, 2008

Royal Phoenix

Tea: Royal Phoenix (Fenghuang Dancong)
Vendor: Tao of Tea
Price: $3.00 / oz
Source: Guangdong Province, China
Vendor Description: In some areas of the Phoenix Mountains in Guangdong province, China, there are wild tea plants that remain a source for some of the best oolong teas in the world. Leaves from these old tea trees are prized for the flavor and full body. Making Royal Phoenix oolong invloves precise rolling and baking techniques to fully develop a toasty texture, fragrant aroma and taste similar to nectarines and peaches.

Leaf: The leaf for this particular tea was very nicely formed. The leaves were very large, yet undamaged. They were twisted into many different long forms, but unbroken and there was no dust in the bag. The leaves were dark in color, almost black, but also contained hues of green.

1st Infusion: The aroma was very unique. I'm not quite sure how to describe it, but it felt like it had some of the hints of a Tae Guan Yin to the aroma, and another aroma which was slightly smoky. There were hints of Tae Guan Yin in the flavor, but only small hints of it. The tea has a very bold flavor to it and a light astringency, but it is hard to really put more description to the flavor of this tea. I kept trying to find the words to describe the flavor down to the last sip.

2nd Infusion: This infusion had a sharp flavor and a small tang of bitterness at the end. The tang was fairly sharp, and the tea finished off quite normally after that.

Rating: 5/10

Conclusion: I haven't had that many oolongs, but I didn't really enjoy the flavor of this one that much. It was very unusual and I need to experiment with it more as it seems this is going to be a rather tricky oolong to deal with.

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