Zhao Zhu Tea Green Dancong 2017 No.530
Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: long, slightly twisted. fairly green with visible oxidation on edges.
Steep time: 10 seconds
Water Temperature: 185 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: pale gold
I know I’m supposed to say that I don’t have a favorite type of tea but in truth, my heart will always belong to dancong. The range of aromas that can be experienced in just this category alone never ceases to amaze me. Everything from the weather and elevation to oxidation and roast levels will have an effect on what we experience in the cup. They’re the real doppelganger of the tea world, replicating fruits and flowers in a way that your senses wouldn’t even believe.
This “green” version from Zhao Zhu Tea is a perfect example of that. I’ve had several dancongs made from Da Wu Ye (aka Big Black Leaf) over the years but none of them have been quite like this. The dry leaf was incredibly vibrant in color, brilliant green set against an almost jet black. Once they were infused, you could really see the stark difference in the different parts of the leaf. The oxidation appeared to be in the splotches along the edges.
The mouthfeel was super thick and viscous. Each sip started out soft and creamy before transitioning to a verdantly green and floral finish. Orchid, lily, and lilac were Zhao Zhu Tea’s tasting notes and I would say that those were pretty spot on. There was some astringency, as would be expected with a dancong, but this was easily softened with shorter infusion times and/or lower leaf volumes.
While I did enjoy my experience with the tea, it was a bit too green for my own personal preference. The many layered charcoal roast of dancong is one of my favorite features of this tea and I found myself missing it. If you are a fan of the more lightly oxidized styles of Tie Guan Yin then I would definitely recommend giving it a try because this would be right up your alley.