Drinking old tea is always a special experience. I basically stumbled over this hiding away inconspicuously at the bottom of the dan cong page at Life in a Tea Cup. No picture to draw your attention. No description to entice you. Just a warning * Current price of this tea is based on supplying costs. The price is subject to adjustment in the future based on rarity. This tea does not have the typical aromas found in many new dan cong products. Instead, it somewhat resembles shu pu-erh without the pile fermentation odor. Well I guess that is probably a description designed to draw in the likes of me. The leaf is not cheap at a little over a dollar a gram but considering its age it is not unreasonable. I pick my self up a five gram sample and promptly forget of the tea's existence. Until I notice it in my box of oolong samples
Breaking into the plain paper wrapper I am greeted by very plain looking chopped leaf. Not only does the tea allegedly taste like pu-erh it looks like it as well. Dancong is probably the oolong that I have the least experience with despite the fact that I am sort of fascinated by it. The leaves look to be very thick and there is a fair amount of stems in the blend. I reach for my freshly smuggled in 95 ml Lu Ni pot thinking that this would be a nice match for size as well as character.
I decide not to rinse the tea as there is no real storage odor. It is given about a ten second initial infusion. I am surprised by the lightness of the color. The flavor has a slight hint of mustiness from its fifty years of age. The flavor is similar that of a shu. The second infusion produces a color of more of what I would have expected. Flavor wise it is very much like an old Guang Yu Gong cake. There is spiciness to the tea as well as flavors of aromatic woods. The third infusion I start to pick up some deep floral flavors in the background making me think of bees buzzing around nectar filled Orchids. The huigan is stronger than I would expect from the taste. The wet leaves smell of wet mulch and sweet over ripe apples.