During this year’s first Chicago International Tea Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting Ned and Catherine of Silk Road Teas. Sharing conversation and their excitement for the quality of leaves they were sampling was a treat in itself, as I had been able to spend ample time on the quieter day 1 of 3 at the festival. Fast-forward since then and they’ve been gracious to send me a few teas to taste. The first of three I’d like to highlight is their Huang Zhe Xiang; a Dancong I’ve really found to enjoy since infusion 1!
Cultivar: Chao Lan Xiang
Origin: Small farm near WuDong Mt, Fenghuang area
Picking/Processing: Handpicked, sorted, withered, wood heated to shape and process to completion
My Brewing Parameters
Leaf to Water Ratio – 7 g for 150 mL
Starting Temp – 95°C
Infusion time(s) – 20 sec. +5
Eyes Dry: Thick and elongated rolled leaves of beaver brown and burnt umber stand out with slivers of goldenrod yellow
Nose Dry: Pineapple, hot cherry pie and tart, sweet aromas
Nose Wet: Floral arrangements highlight gardenia, raspberry seeds, warm apples, and a rich muscatel that immediately transfers to the liquor.
Eyes Liquor: Merigold and thick as if liquid gold nectar
Mouth Texture: Full-bodied and dense as the liquor descends in temperature
Mouth Taste: Forest honey, horsetail reeds,
Nose Cup: Rose petals, cherry liquer,
Mouth Finish: Crisp and dry finish that returns in subtle waves of meadow fragrances and clean air
Eyes Wet: Large leaf with plum, mustard green, and mahogany notes
Body Sensation: Mellow energy with the promise of Spring
Wonderfully fragrant and wholesome in texture and mouthfeel, I’ve been very pleased with selection of Dancongs I’ve come across as of late and this does not disappoint! I personally am slowly working towards expanding my Dancong collection for the chance to showcase more horizontal tastings and build context between each unique variation.
This tea is a part of their Hand Crafted “Phoenix Bird Oolongs – Sampler if you’re interested in tasting this and a range of other Dancongs in comparison. If you take the chance to try this or any of their other teas, let me know as I’m excited to taste the other two teas I have from them soon!