I bought this in 2018 to compare it with the fresh spring Mi Lan Xiang. I wish I’d added it to the database then, as it’s been taken off the Camellia Sinensis website. Since I don’t have a catalogue description, I can’t say whether this is an aged version of their regular Mi Lan Xiang or a different iteration of this Dan Cong. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of roast, char, honey, wood, and faint guava. The first steep has well-integrated notes of honey, roast, barley, orchid, guava, wood, and roasted nuts. The second steep adds lychee and hops. Far from being only in the aftertaste, these flavours present themselves up front as well. They continue in the next couple steeps, and I also get a hint of orange. The char and roast become more prominent in steep five, but not to the point that they obscure the honey, guava, lychee, and orchid. Wood and incense appear in steep seven, and the roast gets stronger, though it’s still not overpowering. The persistence of the signature honey orchid flavours is amazing. The session ends predictably with honey, roast, and minerals.
If this is indeed an older version of the same tea, which seems likely given that some flavours are found in both, it represents a marked improvement. The roast level is about the same, but rather than hiding around the edges, the honey, fruit, and floral notes are front and centre. If I hadn’t read the labels, I’d have pegged this as the newer Dan Cong. I’m glad I had the chance to compare these two teas, and will keep an eye out for older Dan Congs in the future.
Flavors: Char, Floral, Grain, Guava, Honey, Hops, Lychee, Mineral, Orange, Orchid, Roast Nuts, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Wood