Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vicony Teas Company, Da Fang Tea

Da Fang Tea is named after its creator - Da Fang - a Buddhist monk who lived in a temple at the top of Lao Zhu Feng Mountain during the late Song Dynasty. It became a Tribute tea during the Qing Dynasty and was, at one time, one of China's Top Ten Tea.

The last of the six samples furnished by Vicony Teas Company for review. Of the previous five, I absolutely loved four of them. The other one the leaf is amazing. I like the taste, but not love it. Still, it is obviously a high quality tea. I continue my Chinese tea education with this one today. I am expecting wonderful things.

The dry leaf is pale green/yellow. This appears to be two leaves and a bud pressed very flat. There is not a lot of aroma coming off the dry leaf.

I took a large scoop of leaf, about 3g, and placed it in my press. 12oz of water was brought to steaming in my kettle and poured over the leaf. I steeped for a little less than two minutes. Recommended time is 1-2 minutes.

The moment the water hit the leaf I began to smell buttered vegetables. I love that smell in Chinese greens. Most of the leaf clung to the surface, while a few danced in the water below. The brew is pale yellow. The wet leaf looks small, young, and delicate.

The first sip, while the cup was hot, was a bit flavorless. As the cup cooled a buttery sweetness emerged. This feels milky as you sip. At one point I detected a very mild bitterness way underneath the flavors that was a nice touch. There is a lingering pleasant aftertaste that I found slightly drying.

The smell of the wet leaf in the second cup was more like the fresh air at the lake. Nice and refreshing. The second cup is even lighter in flavor. This is new. I am getting a sticky lip feel at the front of the sip with this green tea. Normally, I associate that trait with sheng puerh. Interesting.

Ok, this is really messing with my head and fascinating me at the same time. Now that the second cup is cooling it tastes and feels like I am drinking a warm cup of milk. This isn’t a milky oolong. How is it doing that? The sip starts a bit sheng like, then to lightly bitter green, and on to milk late in the sip. A beautifully complex cup.

The third cup at 3 minutes, morphs yet again. The sticky lip feel and the milkiness are gone. This has now developed earthy notes and has become sweeter. A palate cleansing bitterness still pops in and out at random. This is all light and subtle.

The main thing I would point out about this tea is that when Vicony’s description says this tea is mellow. They are not kidding. There is nothing ‘in your face’ about this tea. It is a very quiet, humble, little tea. This is an excellent tea for curling up on the couch with a good book and sipping quietly. A lot of western tea drinkers were raised on big bold Assam type black teas. They often don’t understand or appreciate delicate understated teas. That is a shame. Teas like this one really have a lot to offer if you open yourself up to the experience. I really enjoyed this one. Thank you Vicony Teas Company for sharing this, and the other awesome teas.

Visit Vicony Teas Company web site.

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