Bitterleaf Teas Marzipan Spring 2017 Xinrenxiang Dancong Oolong
Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark, twisted
Steep time: flash infusions
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep gold
Xinrenxiang, also known as Ju Duo Zai, is one of my favorite varieties of dan cong oolong but it is also fairly hard to find. It has been years since I last had one so I was super happy to see a sample included in my recent order. The name means almond fragrance. I see what you did there, Bitterleaf! Pricey dan cong is a guilty pleasure of mine but not one that I can indulge in often. Thankfully, this one is not outrageous and is comparable in price to offerings from Yunnan Sourcing and other vendors.
The leaves were teeny tiny yet long and spindly at the same time. Compared to my Huang Zhi Xiang that I always have on hand, they were positively minuscule. I couldn’t help but stick my nose right into the bag, inhaling the floral yet earthy scent. I rarely do flash infusions but dan cong can be finicky so that it usually the way I’ll go until I get to know a tea a bit better. The liquor was a deep gold with great clarity. It seemed viscous before I even took my first sip!
The first infusion brought an almost sugary sweet taste with subtle hints of cinnamon spice. There was also a nutty background note not entirely unlike almonds. This gave way to a more floral lean in later infusions. Around Christmas time I make these awesome linzer cookies with almond flour and this tea reminded me very much of those. The mouthfeel was thick and smooth with a slightly drying finish. I wouldn’t describe it as a bitter or astringent at all, though. Marzipan could not be a better name for this tea. I highly recommend giving it a try if you are already a fan of dan cong oolongs.