The place of choice today:
I unpacked all the stuff, lit the charcoal and lied down at the ground... taking a rest for a while, at last. Yesterday (actually, I'm posting this few days later than when I wrote it), I have beaten a rather difficult exam from mathematical structures (no really difficult theorems, but several nontrivial and zillions of small lemmas and properties of various, mostly rather boring, structures), therefore I thought it would be nice to sit down outside with a good tea. Feeling bad, neglecting wulongs lately, I took this 2000 Song Zhong with me.
Thinking about the exam and oncoming AAMAS, the water on the stove got to a more active stage, waking me up.
sings along the wind
rising to the sky
What I really like about drinking tea outside is that I am never alone - all kinds of wonderful small critters provide a welcome company (and, on top of that, my girlfriend and mother accompanied me today too, being wonderful mid-sized critters):
A grin like Marlon Brando in the Godfather, isn't it?
Are the things in the front eyes on cables?
I bought today's tea from Longfeng in 2009 (at that time, the cost was about $70 per 50g). I believe that it is the same as the one provided by Canton tea co. here: http://www.cantonteaco.com/loose-leaf-tea/type/oolong-tea/song-zhong-dan-cong-aged-single-bush.html
Funny thing is, that when the tea was sold in the Czech republic, it was presented as coming from "at least 400 years old trees", while the Canton company, more modestly, states 150-200. Well, that is the ever-persisting curse of resellers and their multiplicative constants. Finely produced tea becomes great, extreme rarity; 200 years old trees become 400 years old and the price is often raised considerably too (however, in the case of this Song Zhong, the increment was not that large - but still, it leaves me wondering of the added value of resellers).
Rants aside, let's get back to the tea:
It smells remarkably nice. I rinse it with the water, reflecting pines above my head:
The wet leaves smell even better - oh my, what an aroma. I would say it is "heavenly fruity" - lychee is dominant, but there is a lot more. And a very strong, yet silky smooth orchid aroma, often found in Dan Cong. This starts good. Not many teas have a "afteraroma" - this tea does have it, thick and honey-sweet.
The taste is really great too - this is how I imagine good Dan Cong to taste. The liquor is sort of light, but the taste is very intense - orchid and lychee. It does not have the annoying bitterness of many lower grade Dan Congs - it is very smooth and very pleasant (there is a bit of bittterness, but nothing annoying). In the overall feeling and taste spectrum, it is rather similar to the 2008 Gold Medalist Mi Lan Dan Cong from Imen (by the way, if your read these lines, Imen, your tea stove has brought me a lot of happiness, thanks!). Nice honey is left in the aftertaste.
This is a really good Dan Cong Tea. However, it is still only a Dan Cong tea - the taste is very good, but I do not perceive much more going on. No tingling mouthfeel, no waves of energy running up my spine. Considering I used the water from tea stove, I find that unfortunate and unexpected. It is like with most Anxi and Taiwan wulongs - tastes good, but does not feel that interesting. From the wulong world, I find Wuyi tea to have the most intense mouthfeel and energy. I wonder why is that.
Therefore, although this tea tastes very good, I do not think I would want to pay this much solely for taste. Good experience nevertheless... For people less acutely responding to energy and feeling bestowed by tea, this tea could be an ideal one.