I preface this by saying that I am relatively new to the world of oolong and more versed in Japanese green teas. Ironically, this 2011 Da Yu Ling oolong is my first entry. Overall, I was not too happy with my brewing parameters. The flavor profile did not develop and stayed elusively subtle throughout five steepings. I will try again with more leaf and/or longer steeping times.
Parameters: 4.0g in 3.0oz. water; brewed gongfu style in a porcelain gaiwan.
Rinse: Wet leaves smell of caramel, honey, raisins, dried apricots, with light tones of citrus, gardenia / lilac, and roasted nuts. Liquor is yellow with a green tinge. Flavor is elusively faint with a minute touch of honey, florally sweetness.
1st (1.0 minute): Wet leaves smell of gardenia and lilac, followed by dried apricots, raisins, and toasted almonds. Liquor is golden. Flavor is faint but slightly more present. There is a caramel and honey sweetness, faint floral tones of gardenia or lilac, no bitterness or astringency present. Flavor profile is still hiding.
2nd (1.0 minute): Wet leaves smell of tasted nuts, bread, and lightly of dried apricots and raisins. Liquor is a darker golden color. Flavor is lightly floral with a honey sweetness and hint of toasted nuts near the end. This was the most flavorful steeping, but, again, I will adjust these brewing parameters.
3rd (1.5 minutes): Wet leaves smell of wet veggie matter (maybe autumn leaves?), toasted almonds, and lightly of apricots and raisins. Liquor is golden brown. Flavor consists of a light honey sweetness with a touch of faint floral and toasted tones.
4th (2.0 minutes): Wet leaves smell of toasted bread and very lightly of dried apricots and citrus. Liquor is golden brown. Flavor consists of a light caramel sweetness and toasty / roasty tones.
5th (2.5 minutes): Wet leaves smell of wet autumn leaves. Citrus, toasty, and dried apricot tones are gone. Liquor is golden brown. Flavor has faded away to a tinge of honey sweetness.
Overall, my brewing parameters need adjusting. The water temperature and volume were good, but more leaf is needed. When this is changed, I believe this tea will present itself with a balanced flavor profile consisting of honey sweetness, light floral tones, and citrus accents.