Morning Crane Tea – Dong Cheon Red Tea: Dan Cha (Hong Cha) small leaves second pick-

This tea comes courtesy of Morning Crane Tea, who celebrated the ending of 2011 with an online tea sale. The tea is beautifully presented -as you can see from the following photo- arriving lovingly outfitted in a silk bag made of Korean Hanbok.

While I didn’t have any previous experience with Korean red teas prior to this session, I have been a devoted admirer of Dong Cheon‘s green teas I have been fortunate enough to taste. Needless to say, my anticipation for experiencing this tea was running high in advance.

The leaves present a pronounced dried cocoa scent with a trace of smokiness, and the faintest hint of hay. It should be said that I appreciate the need to reference hay during any tea session, as years of being in the company of rabbits really warmed me to the scents of dry grasses. I certainly do not view it as an issue with a tea’s aroma. The leaves are a beauty to behold, as you can see from the image below.

Early steepings yielded a medium bodied burnt caramel toned broth which tasted exceptionally clean in the mouth. The flavor fluctuated from smooth notes of cocoa, to what my subconscious kept telling me was orange flower, to the slightest hint of tobacco.

Later steepings found the tea stretching itself from cream and honey like coatings of the mouth, to exhibiting traces of crispness that would align it with higher grade Darjeeling teas. The broth in subsequent lengthier steeping shed its deeper copper highlights, as well as its fullness in the mouth; though it refrained from becoming insipid in taste. The hui gan came in gentle waves, rising and falling. The tea provided an enjoyable, and calming session.

I was not a fan of what are classically categorized as red teas prior to a pivotal steeping session with a Sun Moon Lake from Tea Trekker this past year, and more recently an extraordinary experience with a Laoshan Autumn plucking from Verdant Tea out of Minnesota -both of which I plan to post about shortly. I generally found the teas to be overly brisk for my personal liking; however the two teas mentioned in addition to this wonderful Dan-Cha have altered this perception greatly, and for this I will always be thankful.

(steeping listening: Oren Ambarchi “In the Pendulum’s Embrace”)


3 thoughts on “Morning Crane Tea – Dong Cheon Red Tea: Dan Cha (Hong Cha) small leaves second pick-

  1. Eric,
    Thank you for your sensitive review. It may be the first review of Dong Cheon’s dan-cha on any blog. I’m glad that you appreciated this tea as much as I do. To celebrate this review, I’ve decided to hold open the Morning Crane Tea Sale until January 31, 2012 for those people who mention this Disciple of the Tea Leaf post.
    Cho Hak

  2. I really enjoyed your post about this tea, and I included a link to it in our description of the Dong Cheon Dan Cha on our store site. (I’m trying to find the time to blog about these lovely Korean teas on my own blog as well, but have not done so yet.) I would hope that this would lead more people to read your interesting blog, but of course I can remove it immediately if you would like me to. The product listing is here:

    I would have sent this as a private email rather than a comment on your blog, but could not find contact info on your blog.

    • Thanks for the comment Cinnabar, I am thrilled and honored to have you link to my blog at Phoenix Teashop. I appreciate you taking the time to read my posts, as I have read your blog for some time now. 🙂 I thought my contact was in there somewhere… ah, still working out the kinks:

      All the best,


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