This was the last of the Dan Cong oolongs I consumed in January. It seems that 2017 was a good year for Dan Cong teas as the overwhelming majority of the 2017 Dan Cong oolongs I have tried from Yunnan Sourcing have been very good. This one was no exception. I found it to be more complex than the Spring 2016 Bai Ye I tried last year, though I also found this tea to have a bit of a bite and to not be quite as smooth.

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 6 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 produced aromas of orchid, pomegranate, nectarine, candied pomelo, and cherry. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of lotus, honey, hibiscus, orange blossom, and almond. The first infusion brought out aromas of spinach, baked bread, and butter. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of nectarine, pomegranate, honey, orchid, candied pomelo, and cherry that were chased by slightly subtler impressions of almond, baked bread, butter, and vanilla. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of green bell pepper, chili leaf, vanilla, and wood. Lotus, hibiscus, and orange blossom notes emerged in the mouth along with hints of spinach. Impressions of cream, minerals, chili leaf, green bell pepper, pear, wood, lychee, peach, and white grape also appeared. As the tea faded, lingering mineral, green bell pepper, baked bread, cream, butter, wood, and almond were underscored by hints of lotus, orchid, vanilla, spinach, candied pomelo, white grape, and peach.

This was a very nice Bai Ye, but I found it to be slightly prickly and sharp in places; the tea’s woodier and more vegetal qualities sometimes undercut its gorgeous floral and fruity characteristics. Still, this was a very good Dan Cong oolong, one that fans of such teas would likely appreciate greatly. Even though there are smoother Bai Ye oolongs out there, one could do far, far worse than give this one a shot.

Flavors: Almond, Bread, Butter, Cherry, Citrus, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Green Bell Peppers, Hibiscus, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Spinach, Stonefruit, Vanilla, Vegetal, White Grapes, 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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