This was the last of the spring 2017 Dan Cong oolongs I finished in December, and honestly, it was my favorite of the bunch. Prior to trying this tea, I had never tried a Song Zhong Dan Cong. Even though this offering was not even listed as Yunnan Sourcing’s most premium 2017 Song Zhong, I still loved it. It had a ton of character and was a tremendously enjoyable tea to drink.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was followed by 15 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 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, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cream, peach, honey, orchid, pomegranate, and vanilla. After the rinse, I detected aromas of roasted almond, grass, and spinach. The first infusion brought out subtle baked bread and sweet potato aromas. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, honey, orchid, roasted almond, and vanilla that quickly gave way to impressions of baked bread, grass, and sweet potato. Hints of spinach and pomegranate were just barely perceptible in the aftertaste. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cinnamon, wood, and steamed milk as well as subtle scents of brown sugar. Peach notes belatedly appeared in the mouth along with impressions of brown sugar, minerals, cattail shoots, cinnamon, steamed milk, orange zest, honeydew, plum, and pear. I also noted interesting hints of watermelon rind, cucumber, and wood. As the tea faded, the liquor settled, offering notes of minerals, cream, orange zest, pear, grass, and sweet potato that were underscored by subtle hints of orchid, brown sugar, cucumber, honeydew, steamed milk, watermelon rind, and roasted almond.

An absolutely fascinating and delightful Dan Cong oolong, I can only wonder how well Yunnan Sourcing’s pricier and fancier Song Zhong holds up to it. This tea produced a liquor that displayed great depth and complexity, wonderful body and texture, and respectable longevity. There were a few points where I thought the layering of flavors could have been a little smoother, but otherwise, I had no real complaints with this tea. Check it out if you are looking for an enjoyable introductory/regular Song Zhong at a decent price.

Flavors: Almond, Bread, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Honeydew, Melon, Milk, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Plum, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wood

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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