Sample C

More samples from Will.

Sample C, it says. Looks like dancong, smells like dancong, it’s probably a dancong, so I used my dancong pot.

Trying a new set up here, without using a tray and instead have a bowl to catch all the run off water with a wooden tray holding everything — which is just the bowl and the cup, as you can see here…

And then using a separate bowl to hold all the useless water (picture maybe tomorrow?). Maybe I can water plants with the run off tea.

How’s the tea though?

When I wrote to Will after drinking the tea, asking him what it is, I commented “seems rather bland — nothing too exciting”, and I think that basically captures what I think about the tea. It’s a dancong all right. Fragrant, not much bitterness unless you overbrew it (a plus), and overall decent, but it didn’t really stay in my mouth, nor did it give me a lingering sense of sweetness or throatiness. It’s basically a taste, and then it’s gone. That’s fine for a regular cup of tea, but I will get bored of such things quite quickly. It needed longish steeps quite soon to get more out of it, as I discovered. That’s fine, as it had a reasonable amount to give. That’s one good thing about this tea that’s obvious — it lasts quite a while and yields many steeps.

What surprised me was that this tea is one of the most expensive dancongs on offer at Tea Habitat at a whooping $75/oz. I was thinking to myself that this price seems rather high for not much tea, and not a terribly impressive one at that. Good teas cost money, there’s no doubt about that, but I also believe that truly good teas should not be too tempermental to make, as Will suggested this tea could be. I personally don’t really want to spend $25 or $50 just trying to figure out how to make this tea right. Per gram, it’s on par with some 20 years old puerh. For $75 I can buy half a kilo of some of my aged oolongs, and those are not tempermental to brew and fairly consistent. Half a kilo versus 28g…. I’m not sure if there’s much competition there.

I still remember going through my dancong phase once upon a time, early during the life of this blog actually. Then I quickly burned out, because after a while, they tend to taste sort of similar. I remember buying the second best dancong at the Best Tea House, and not the best one, because the best one cost double and the marginal difference between the two was slight. I think the same law should apply here — the marginal benefits of this tea is probably not enough to cover the marginal cost. Maybe there’s too much of the economist left in me, but as we all know, money talks.


Comments

Sample C — 4 Comments

  1. i’m probably wrong, but the dry leaves in that first pic look like Fenghuang Shuixian – or, at least, what passes for FS in this country. The giveaway for me is the uniform darkness in the leaves, and that particular curled/curved shape of the leaf that is also more uniform than many dancongs I’ve come across. (put another way: in many dancongs the bigger leaves have been less uniform in both color and shape than the fenghuang shuixian; and if they are uniform, the leaves are much thinner. not smaller, but while dry thinner.)

    Anyway, I’m always surprised by how many people rant and rave about Fenghuang Shuixian and so I try it and I am almost always disappointed. Your description of drinking this tea (summed up with “a taste and then it’s gone”) pretty much captures exactly my experience with FS. it probably isn’t the Shuixian, but this post sure reminds me of that.
    fwiw.

  2. One note about brewing in a dish, which is what I have been doing: you may find yourself leaving your teapot in standing tea water for extended periods, which in turn stains the bottom of the pot. Not a huge issue, really, but something to consider. You could of course avoid this by frequently emptying your dish, but I tend to be too lazy.

  3. Pingback: Caring for your pots | A Tea Addict's Journal

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