You probably have noticed a new Phoenix Dan Cong varietal here called Shan Qie Ye, or Mountain Eggplant, which sparked quite a few inquiries from tea drinkers to me asking if the tea tastes like eggplant, and the answer is...no, it doesn’t. Would you drink a tea that tastes like eggplant though?
Shan Qie Ye indeed is an intriguing name, but just like many other Phoenix Dan Cong cultivars, it’s derived from local culture. Strictly speaking, it’s a Cinnamon Aroma cultivar. The reason it’s called Mountain Eggplant is because the shape of its raw, unprocessed tea leaves is very similar to the leaves of a wild mountain eggplant plant, hence the locals gave it this name.
Cinnamon Aroma itself is a relatively more royal-like cultivar in the Dan Cong family. Because its tea trees typically grow at a higher altitude in Phoenix Mountain and this tea is usually produced from older tea trees (70-100 years old).
Different varieties of a cultivar can taste a bit different, and not to mention Dan Cong has over 200 of them! This particular Cinnamon Aroma is subtle and complex that makes you go back to it again and again to try to explore more. It’s not a full body floral tea like a Gardenia Aroma, or sensual floral like a Tuberose Aroma, or roasty nutty like an Almond Aroma, but it’s roasty, sweet, nutty, cinnamon, vegetative and floral all atl the same time. When you brew this tea at 90C/195F, you get more vegetative and floral, whereas when you brew it at 95C/205F, you get more roasty and nutty flavor.
Our Cinnamon Aroma Dan Cong comes from Farmer Liu's uncle's plantation in Phoenix Mountain, at elevation between 800-900 meters, which is considered high mountain in this case.
Have you tried a Cinnamon Aroma? Leave a comment below if you have any question or feedback! :)