Sunday, January 22, 2006

Michael Plant on Old Tree Teacher's Lot Phoenix Bird Oolong, from

[from an email to corax. posted by permission.]

Item: O-PBO-PR
(A Feng Huang Dan Cong)

Off boil, 11 grams of dry tea, 5 ounces of water. Steeps in seconds: instant, instant, 5, 10, 10, 10, 20, 20, 30, 30, 60, 60, 60, 120, 120. (OK, add 20% to account for the pour time.)
(Brewed in a fully stuffed YiXing pot seasoned to Feng Huang Dan Congs.)

Aroma: Soft fruit and round, more fruit from the emptied cup, consistent throughout steeps.

Taste: Green flint, lightly fruited, especially in later steeps. At around the seventh steep, a pronounced increase in finish and aftertaste, a sweet fruit on the roof of the mouth and the top of the tongue, complex, dry and flinty by turns. At around the tenth steep, less complex, but still producing that soft round aroma.

Minor Issues , and Recommendations:
The wet leaves are deep jade green , strong, big, with a reddish edge caused by manufacture, and a heavy central vein. A more lightly oxidized Feng Huang (Phoenix Bird) Dan Cong (Single Bush) Oolong from Guang Dong Province, it allows longer steeps than the more heavily oxidized versions. Stuff the pot full of leaf. That means placing dry leaf, tapping the side of the pot to cause the leaf to settle, and then putting in still more leaf. Use water off the boil, but adjust the time for each steep up or down according to the taste of the previous.

General Impressions:
A physically beautiful tea, complex in taste, friendly in aroma, and pleasing through at least fifteen steeps. Gorgeous. I love this tea, pure and simple.

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