Tead Off wrote:For me, the flavor has to override the bitterness for me to want to buy a tea again. For ordinary dancong, I don't buy because there is not enough enjoyment in the flavor for my taste. Add to that, it is a difficult tea to brew as many posters here can attest to. The good stuff is so expensive that one has to be wealthy to drink it regularly. But, I only will talk for myself.
You should really try a gaiwan; they really do a much better job with DC
DC doesn't have to be bitter, you just can't let it steep for too long and don't use too much leaf. Going off memory I'd say a quarter to half gaiwan of leaf (very loose - it's so wiry that that isn't very much), and you don't want to let it steep for more than about 10 seconds.
Regarding taste, see below.
Tenuki wrote:IMO her teas are too finicky for the average tea person to truely enjoy in a reliable manner.
DC in general is finicky. I would say that Imen's stuff is probably the least finicky, especially the high grade. Most people ask how to brew the high grade stuff because the price is intimidating. If you can only afford one ounce, you don't have much to waste. Almost anyone with experience using a gaiwan can use Imen's instructions to get a much-better-than-average cup from the high grade stuff.
I would say that the big thing about DC is that it's different from other wulong, both in brewing and in the tea itself. When brewing it, many of your familiar tricks for other wulong will backfire. As with any good tea, it simply takes experience to learn to brew to its potential. If all of your experience is in another type of tea, then you're starting from scratch.
As for the tea itself, it's much more about aroma than taste, and that's something that the average tea drinker can't always fully appreciate. A good cup can be smelled in the mouth, but if you're focused on your taste buds then it might not satisfy. I have to be in a particular mood for DC, and I find that I appreciate it more in spring when my senses are perpetually buzzing from the smell of everything blooming.
Tenuki wrote:a lot of other less finicky teas taste just as yummy
Taste, yes; smell, no
I've never found a tea that can compare with the intensely vivid aroma of high grade DC; especially since I've gotten more experience with brewing.
Tenuki wrote:...don't promote self delusion...
Seems a bit ostentatious to assume that everyone else is deluding themselves because you couldn't get what you wanted from it
Tenuki wrote:hokey suggestions about water swirling from left to right instead of right to left
A bit beyond hyperbole. Imen uses high vs low pours to control temperature; I've come to prefer that method myself for all wulong, and that principal has taught me more than any other when re-examining how I was brewing other teas. The same goes for pouring in one spot on the gaiwan, around the edge, or directly on the leaf. In short, those "esoteric" methods are just about not scorching leaf that's susceptible to it.
Tenuki wrote:Dan Tchong
Fonetik speling iz kool! But wat about wen ur talking 2 sum1 frum ChaoZhou who sez it like "Dan Song"? An wow do u spell da Cantonese pronounciation of "X" (lik yixing) were they sey it uzing there throat and back teeth?
(I tease because I know you talk to Taiwanese, and Taiwanese have a bad habit of spelling things however they please. Just keep in mind that those become even more confusing if you talk to someone who speaks any of the numerous other dialects, or even has to email a main-land vendor. My local Cantonese vendor can figure out my poor pronunciations when I try to pronounce Pinyin, but if I try to say things from phonetic spellings then he has no clue.)