I can’t remember whether I purchased this tea from Yunnan Sourcing or Yunnan Sourcing US, not that it matters all that much. I think I bought it from Yunnan Sourcing, thus I am posting this review here. I’ve lately become a big fan of Da Wu Ye Dancong oolongs. I found this one to be rather excellent and unique, and that surprised me because I do not always see winter harvested Chinese oolongs getting a lot of love.
I prepared this tea gongfu style using a little more leaf than normal. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 7 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of sweetgrass, toast, roasted almond, cream, and butter underscored by hints of fresh flowers. After the rinse, I found stronger floral aromas reminiscent of violet and gardenia coupled with emerging hints of wood and citrus. The first infusion brought out a stronger violet scent and new aromas of vanilla and orchid. In the mouth, I detected notes of toast, roasted almond, cream, butter, and sweetgrass backed by subtler notes of citrus, orchid, gardenia, and violet. I also caught hints of vanilla, peach, and pear. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger orchid, gardenia, violet, vanilla, peach, and pear notes, as well as emerging notes of minerals, roasted walnut, lychee, malt, apricot, and rose. Something of a subtle woodiness emerged in the mouth and the previously vague citrus notes eventually morphed into more distinct impressions of lemon candy, orange zest, and pomelo. The later infusions mostly offered lingering mineral, cream, and sweetgrass notes balanced by hints of citrus and violet.
Intensely floral and complex with a little more longevity than expected, this was an immediately appealing tea. I loved how it richly rewarded patient, focused sipping. This one did not come back for Winter 2017, instead being replaced by a Ya Shi Xiang, but I am so happy that I went out of my way to acquire it while I could. It had not lost a step in storage and seemed like it could probably stand up to further aging very well.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Candy, Citrus, Cream, Gardenias, Grass, Lemon, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Rose, Toast, Vanilla, Violet, Walnut, Wood