Poohblah wrote:Would you mind being specific and fleshing out this statement more? To me, the claim "tastes like crap" says that you didn't like the tea, not necessarily that it is a bad tea.
1a This type of assessment on Gordon's Dan Congs has come from a number of Teachatters.
1b There are also a fair few Teachatters who do not share this opinion.
2a Many Teachatters find Dancong a difficult tea to brew, and do not like it.
2b Many Teachatters do not find it difficult to brew and love it.
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Some Teachatters prefer to brew Dan Cong in a fine porcelain gaiwan
Some Teachatters prefer to brew Dan Cong in a pot, Chaou Zhou or Yixing
Some Teachatters love Dan Cong for it's fragrance
Some Teachatters love Dan Cong for it's body, texture and balance
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I can't speak for all these Teachatters, but from my experience, using a Porcelain Gaiwan helps you to maximise the fragrance, but the slightest overbrewing of a commercial (plantation sourced) DC can increase the risk of astringency.
Using a thin, Chao Zhou pot slightly decreases the fragrance and slightly increases the body and texture.
Using a thick walled Yixing decreases the fragrance even more, but increases the body and texture more, and astringency arrives later than in the previous 2.
Thus with 3 choices of brewing vessel, I can see where drinkers who are totally averse to astringency can find great fault with commercial level Dcs, and those who are mission bound on Fragrance will fail to appreciate them at all.
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I happen to like a mild amount of astringency in a fuller bodied DC, and have found great favour with many of DTHs DCs.
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Since I started buying from Imen, I have had some wonderful experiences with her teas, and have not felt the need to go back to Gordon. If money gets tight, I would not hesitate to go back to Gordon.
Gordon offers a HUGE rage of teas and other products, he cannot possibly be self certifying every tea he sells, but on the whole he delivers an excellent service - if 1 DC on one year is less than the others, then that is life, but in general I believe he delivers a competitively priced range of products.
If you really are totally averse to a slight amount of astringency, and only want the fragrance highlighted in your cup - then stay away from plantation DCs
Then if you can afford the teas, including the learning curve on brewing and enjoying - head straight to Tea Habitat.
But despite what any of us say, it is down to you. Buy a couple from Gordon, try them with Gaiwan and Yixing and choose your preference, then if you are getting hooked on DC try something from Imen and see it if it raises your appreciation levels.