REVIEW: Min River Tea – 2014 Phoenix Dan Cong by Mr Huang


Tea and origin: Oolong tea from Da Zhi Mountain, Feng Huang (凤凰), Guangdong. The farmer is Huang Xian Sheng, and the tea was harvested on 11 May 2014
Twitter: Min River Tea
Facebook:  Min River Tea
Link to Phoenix Dan Cong

Min River Tea is a western company based in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China. Founded in 2010, Min River Tea only buys tea directly from farmers – not middlepeople, wholesalers or trading companies. Min River Tea also only purchases teas that are manually picked and meet EU/US standards for chemical safety and pesticides. By directly buying from farmers, they feel they can better control quality.

This is the first time I’ve tried a tea from Min River Teas, so I thought I’d start things off with their November tea of the month, Phoenix Dan Cong.

Tasting notes

Dry leaf: The dry leaf consists of full, twisted leaves. It has a classic oolong aroma: a bit toasty, with some honey-like notes

Infused tea: The first infusion cups out a light yellow liquor. Subsequent infusions are darker. The first infusion is light – both aroma and flavour. With the second infusion, the tea starts shining: the liquor is darker, the aroma is more prominent and the liquor is more flavourful. I pick up a complex mix of fruity and floral flavours in the body of the tea. At first, I detect an apricot flavour, followed by rose notes. By the second and third infusions, it is a medium-bodied tea with a moderate amount of astringency that leaves a slightly dry mouthfeel

Infusion tips: Although you can make this tea with various types of teaware, I would suggest using a gaiwan. I put five grams of tea in a 150ml gaiwan and steeped the tea for 30 second with water off the boil. For each subsequent infusion I increased the infusion time by 20 to 30 seconds. I tried using a glass teapot with this tea, but I found it didn’t pull the aroma or flavour out of the leaves. If you do use a teapot, you might want to steep the tea for two minutes (or more). Try infusing this tea three to five times

Conclusions: The complexity that this tea has is very special. While it has classic oolong flavours, I found that the fruity and floral notes in the body provides a whole other dimension to oolong drinking. It is a real winner, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The complexity of the aroma and liquor will throw your tea taste buds for a loop!

Retail price: 100 grams for £20.00


About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
This entry was posted in Chinese oolong, Min River Tea, Oolong and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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