I’m still working my way through all of the sampler packs I bought from Taiwan Tea Crafts last year, but I’m making good progress. I think I only have nine of the 10g sample pouches left at this point. I finished this one sometime last week. I took a couple of days to work my way through a bunch of smaller oolong samples and this was one of the first teas I drank. I very much enjoyed it, but like many Dayuling teas, it would not be the sort of tea I would go out of my way to purchase often.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of rolled tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of butter, vanilla, cream, orchid, and sugarcane. After the rinse, I found emerging aromas of grass and cucumber. The first infusion then brought out a touch of violet on the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered light, delicate notes of cream, butter, vanilla, grass, and sugarcane. Subsequent infusions revealed orchid, violet, and cucumber in the mouth. I also began to detect emerging notes of custard, narcissus, lemon zest, lettuce, spinach, umami, pineapple, tangerine, yellow/golden apple (kind of like Golden Delicious), Asian pear, and minerals. In addition to the previously listed components, I also noted much stronger sugarcane impressions as well as subtle sweet corn notes. The later infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, umami, cream, and butter balanced by subtler notes of vanilla, custard, citrus, and apple. Fleeting impressions of spinach came out on the swallow.
This was a very nice high mountain oolong with admirable depth, complexity, and longevity. Unfortunately, while it did offer some rather unique flavors (the yellow apple notes were a nice touch.), not much else separated this tea from the many other Taiwanese high mountain oolongs I have been drinking lately. Authentic Dayuling teas tend to be very expensive (this one being no exception) and I could not see myself purchasing a tea like this over two similar teas from elsewhere. As a drinking experience, this would be like a 94 for me, but in terms of value, it would be like an 80, so I split the difference and assigned this tea a numerical score of 87. Dayuling has to really wow me before I’ll assign a score of 90 or higher.
Flavors: Apple, Butter, Citrus, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Grass, Lemon Zest, Lettuce, Mineral, Narcissus, Orchid, Pear, Pineapple, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Umami, Vanilla, Violet