This was another sipdown from earlier in the week, my second of the week overall. Prior to trying this tea, I had never tried a jasmine aroma dancong oolong. Since I love jasmine, I was eager to break this one out and finally got around to it this week. Unfortunately, it did not wow me as much as some of the other dancong oolongs I have polished off over the course of the past two months. It was still a very good tea overall, but it struck me as being subtler and more challenging while also being a little less distinctive than the others.

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, nectarine, cream, vanilla, and roasted almond as well as a subtle jasmine scent. After the rinse, I detected aromas of honey, spinach, grass, peach, and candied orange. The first infusion introduced a slightly stronger jasmine scent as well as a lychee aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered up notes of grass, spinach, cream, butter, vanilla, and roasted almond that were backed by hints of candied orange, orchid, and honey. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of plum, cherry, butter, white grape, orange zest, and wood. Stronger and more immediate honey and orchid notes came out in the mouth along with impressions of lychee, peach, and nectarine and hints of jasmine. I also detected notes of minerals, pear, cherry, plum, lychee, wood, white grape, orange zest, green bell pepper, and grape leaf. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, wood, roasted almond, cream, grass, and grape leaf that were balanced by hints of butter, orange zest, plum, jasmine, white grape, and cherry.

This was a very different tea compared to the other Yunnan Sourcing dancong oolongs I have been drinking in recent months. Its liquor was not as sweet and nectar-like, coming across as woodier, more vegetal, and more pungent in many places. In many ways, it was a more challenging and more unpredictable tea. I enjoyed it a great deal, though I would not reach for it all that often. I also feel that it would likely not be a good introductory tea for those new to dancong oolongs given its complex, subtle, and rather challenging profile. In my opinion, this would more be a tea for well-established connoisseurs of dancong oolongs who are looking for something a little different.

Flavors: Almond, Butter, Candy, Cherry, Cream, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Honey, Jasmine, Lychee, Mineral, Orange, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Plums, Spinach, Stonefruits, 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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