26 January 2008

Hidden fruits

Today I decided to try something lighter, the "tasty tea". Since I'm big fan of Dan Cong oolongs and today I ordered lot of samples from Imen, the Dan Cong is the way I want to go.

I got this particular tea from a local vendor, owner of Cha Dao, a tea house in Prague. I got four different Dan Cong oolongs from him, this is Yu Lang Xiang. You may also notice, that in Czech transcription the Dan Cong is written as Tan Chung.

What says the website about this tea?
Next example of 'Single Tree Phoenix' is one with the smell of Jade Orchid (Yu Lang). The tea is full of citrus undertones; the taste is full, straight with a bit of grassy tones. Also, you can find in the taste honey, nectar and sweet flowers.

And how performed the tea in the reality?
I prepared the tea in my 50 years old zhu ni teapot I use with Dan Cong oolongs with a traditional gong fu style, starting with very short steeping times and nearly boiling water. The taste was very pleasant, mix of flowers and fruits. To my biggest surprise, instead of usual citrus fruits I found in this tea a smell of... banana? Just a hint of banana. But... this taste is something I really like!

Certainly, the tea isn't pure banana, it is a mix of banana, exotic summer flowers, orange, honey.

The tea lasts long, 10 infusions at minimum. The taste does not change in such complex way as the pu-erh does, it remains pleasant all the time.

Please notice, how huge these leaves are! I put one of the unfurled leaves on top of my teapot - the leaf is nearly longer than the whole pot. And this isn't the smallest pot I got! Also, you may notice how the leaf was processed - it's still green with some brown edges. And how I chose leaf that big? I just reached into pot and took the first one.

Just for curiosity, 50 grams of this extraordinary tea (a bit less than 2oz) costs approximately $10. Good price! Only problem is, that the vendor sells tea only in Czech Republic. Fortunately, I visit Prague nearly each month, so maybe I can get a bit more of this tea to age in my next visit. Or I can wait until I tried the other samples - maybe some of them are even better.


Salsero said...

Well, I have to say this looks like one good reason to move to the Czech Republic!

Thanks for the nice post and photo of your beautiful teapot with the leaf. What is the capacity of the teapot?

Tuo Cha Tea said...

Thanks, the pot is approximately 160 ml.

And yes, Czech Republic is home of tea houses, there are nearly 700 of them for population slightly more than New York City (10 millions).

Salsero said...

Wow, I didn't know that tea was so popular in Eastern Europe. Is this a recent development or have the Czechs always been big tea drinkers?

Tuo Cha Tea said...

The tea culture developed right after the fall of socialism (1989), first tea houses appeared in early 90's.
In 1993 the former Czechoslovakia divided into Czech Republic and Slovakia - the tea culture in Czech Republic is much more developed than in Slovakia (but still, each bigger city in Slovakia have at least one tea house, too).
Fortunately, the czech and slovak languages are very similar, so the two nations did not fall apart completely.

Petr said...

2Salsero: Hi, in Czech is maybe much teahouses for population, but 90% from them are an Arabian smoking-room with a lot of Chinese or Taiwanese teas (mostly from one distributor), but old (I don't speak about pu-erh) or low-quality...Not sheng pu-erh in 90% CZ Teahouses, not quality TGY...
Only about 7 teahouses (e.g. Cha Dao) in CZ has very big quality...It's a pity...