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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.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C
Spoonvonstup

Sounds like it’ll have an interesting profile if you can coax it out. How was the texture and aftertaste on this one? I’ll be interested to see how if your impressions change with more leaf.

Bowman

Hey Spoonvonstup. Thanks for the comment! I am excited to re-brew this one too and agree about the interesting nature of the flavor profile. The texture was silky smooth with a hint of thickness, however, I think this will improve with better brewing too. I hope I get it right the second time…I only have a small sample! :)

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Spoonvonstup

Sounds like it’ll have an interesting profile if you can coax it out. How was the texture and aftertaste on this one? I’ll be interested to see how if your impressions change with more leaf.

Bowman

Hey Spoonvonstup. Thanks for the comment! I am excited to re-brew this one too and agree about the interesting nature of the flavor profile. The texture was silky smooth with a hint of thickness, however, I think this will improve with better brewing too. I hope I get it right the second time…I only have a small sample! :)

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My love for Japanese green teas was instantaneous. The rich sea tones of Gyokuro, steamed veggie flavors of Sencha, and indescribable umami taste is hard to beat. But, the world of tea is vast and varied. Oolong, pu-erh, and black teas do find themselves in my cup from time to time.

“Where there’s tea there’s hope.” – Arthur W. Pinero

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