Today I’m drinking the 3 Dahongpao teas from the Aug/Sept White2Tea club. I’m putting this here because I don’t want to do them separately. I will review the Qilan teas separately though.
Fresh DHP (4g)
Really interesting aroma. Tangy? Intensifies w/ wet leaf. Smells like candy actually.
The brew is much milder than I thought it would be. I’m kind of surprised at how much I like this tea. It’s really quite mellow. No astringency, lovely light sweet aftertaste. Not having had many (any?) DHP’s, I have no point of reference for this tea. Is there a light smokiness I’m detecting in later steeps? (I’m on #3 right now). Another reviewer said burnt sugar. Yes. I was thinking caramel, but not as sweet. So burnt sugar fits the bill. I’m not really overtaken by the roast on this one. I’ve had other wuyi oolongs that were much more in your face with the roast. Not so this one. Steep five is weak; tea is losing its oomph. Let six sit a bit longer and the tea liquor is dark but the flavor has definitely faded. Becoming more mineral/meh.
8 years aged DHP (~3g)
Oolong owl said the dry leaf aroma is “car tire.” Which is hilarious and spot on. Not pleasant at all. Wet leaf aroma is much nicer though. I don’t know, I’m not getting as much flavor out of this. Weird. Maybe it’s because I just ate? I probably should have waited a bit. I’ve had two steeps. I think I’ll put it aside for a bit and come back. Ok, I did come back about an hour later. Still not feeling it tbh. I mean, it’s ok, but just that. It’s the like the fresh with the flavor and intensity turned down from 9 to like, 4.
5 years aged DHP brick (~4g)
The brick itself has no discernible aroma, but the wet leaf smells fantastic. The burnt sugar aroma is very strong, very much like the fresh DHP actually but a bit more intense. The flavor is just so good, deep, rich, and roasty but sweet. My mouth is coated with a sweet mineral aftertaste. Mmmmm sweet rocks. I would buy this if I could; it is my favorite of the three. I will say the flavor drops off a bit for me after the first several steeps though.
One thing I have learned over the course of my tea journey, and specifically with these oolongs (including the Clover Patch, which I reviewed separately a few weeks ago) is that I am not one for subtlety when it comes to flavors. Most days I like a tea to announce its arrival with four-part harmonies and a horn section. I don’t know if my palate will become more “refined” in time, or if this is just the way I am. Anyway, I continue to completely enjoy the w2t club. Initially I thought it would just be something I’d do for a few months, now it’s already incorporated into 2016’s tea budget (which I’d already spent by July 2015, but whatever…)
Tea leaves: https://instagram.com/p/70W9e7GgMZ/?taken-by=curlygc
Clockwise from right: fresh (more defined, long, slender, beautiful. 8 Years aged: similar to fresh but more chopped up. Brick: chopped like shou. Chopped Shuey? (I’ll see myself out)