Gongfu Brewing. . .something has always scared me away from trying to brew tea up in the tea ceremonial fashion and kept me to western brewing. I think scared may be the incorrect word. I think intimidated is better.
I was intimidated by the amount of teaware you had to have, intimidated by having the right teaware, and also intimidated by making a complete fool out of myself for trying. But when March rolled around and I turned 40-I finally convinced myself it was time to finally immerse myself into learning something new.
And learn something I did. I found myself taking notes after notes from different videos on YouTube from amazing tea bloggers like Tea for Me Please and tea companies like Mei Leaf. By the time it was all said and done, I found tea ware that I already had that would work to get the party started.
So to test this out, I took a sample of Phoenix Dan Cong Duck Honey Snowflake from Serendipitea Studios and brewed the tea both in the gongfu method and western style. The different was night and day.
With the gongfu method, I was able to get these rich gorgeous notes of sweet floral that I was not getting with the western style. These pops of sweet floral thrilled my tastebuds and I found myself eagerly drinking this tea down. Towards the middle brewing sessions, I would find myself describing the tea as being delicate but with a bit of power behind it. Yes this tea is delicate but this tea demands your full attention as well. There was also this slight savory touch that I could note here and there but couldn’t really pull what I would compare the taste to.
With the western style, I was still able to pull out those beautiful floral notes with a sweet touch but I will say that the flavors were not as bold and not as alluring. Still delicious but I would say I prefer the gongfu method for this particular tea. The flavors were just more pronounced and more on point.
Regardless of how you brew this tea, this tea is fabulous and one that I will be getting more of for myself soon. I’m beyond thrilled with the tea itself and have found myself wanting more so I may be ordering quicker than I intended to. Smooth, lush, floral, with just a hit of a contrasting flavor here and there. Can’t ask for more from your tea.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Serendipitea Studios
Elegant just like its name, Duck Honey Snowflake is a seasonal winter hand-picked harvest of regular Duck Honey Aroma all-natural tea. This winter version is much more florally delicate than the regular and contrasted to caramel like sweetness, its sweetness brings a rather icy wintry feel.
From the coastal area in Canton province, Phoenix Mountain possesses mineral-rich soil and is constantly surrounded by mists and fog, covered by wild tea tress and tea farms, as well as the folklore of the Phoenix Dan Cong Tea. Many wild tea trees are at least 100 to 200 years old.
It’s a special type of organic Oolong treasured for its highly distinctive natural aroma, and is also believed to be the ancestor of all Oolong teas. Well-known for its ten aromatic categories, it delivers rich and complex flavor. Local tea scholars and connoisseurs from China study and try to organize these all-natural teas into hundreds aromatic subgroups. Mandarin uses the word ‘Xiang’ or aroma for each specific type that mimics certain flower or fruit aroma. Phoenix Dan Cong’s aroma is never artificially added or perfumed but exclusively cultivated, artisan crafted, and each aroma comes from the tea plant’s natural aromatic compound.