I love Guangdong Oolongs and I wrote about them a few times. The first one was Duckshit from Phoenix, I then wrote about Bai Ye (honey orchid) and the last one was Rougui (cinnamon) from Wudong. The reason for having many different varieties of Phoenix Dan Cong can be explained by its name. Dan Cong (single bush) refers to a type of oolong that is made out of a single cultivar providing a distinctive flavour profile. In other words, each bush (cultivar) produces a uniquely flavoured tea such as honey orchid, cinnamon, osmanthus, yulan, grapefruit, jasmine and almond. It is important to stress that the Phoenix Dan Cong is not artificially flavoured or scented, all of the taste profiles occur naturally due to the qualities of the cultivar’s soil and plants and trees that grow around it.
The Phoenix almond oolong was slightly subtler then the others I have tried. I could taste a slight astringency (which is favoured for this tea) with some nutty, woody and fruity notes. I did think that almond was a good name for this variation as almonds can give a slight bitterness sometimes which was present in this tea too. After trying this Dan Cong, I started to understand their flavour-based classification a little better and I am looking forward to trying the rest of the flavours.
Origin: Phoenix Mountain, Guangdong province
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Dark brown/black
Liquor colour: Golden yellow
Tea aroma: Rich floral fragrance
Tea taste: Slightly astringent with nutty, woody and fruity notes
Steeping/brewing: You can use around 90-95°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 5 years or more (to improve shelf-life store the sealed tea leaves in a dry, ventilated place with low temperatures and away from odour)