It seems like spring has finally arrived here in Kentucky. We have been having warm, sunny weather for the past three days. It’s been great. Naturally, I wanted to celebrate the belated arrival of pleasant weather with a nice high mountain oolong, so I broke out my sample of this tea. I’m going to violate my Dayuling oolong rating rule again here, but I’m going to do it for a different reason this time. I’m doing it this time because this was a truly spectacular tea, one worthy of an exceptional rating in every way.
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 13 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, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cream, butter, custard, vanilla, hyacinth, and gardenia. After the rinse, I found emerging aromas of sugarcane, violet, and grass. The first infusion then brought out hints of cinnamon, steamed milk, and green apple on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor offered notes of vanilla, cream, butter, custard, hyacinth, gardenia, violet, and green apple underscored by hints of cinnamon, sugarcane, steamed milk, and grass. Subsequent infusions revealed even more floral complexity and fruitiness on the nose with a slight uptick in vegetal character. New impressions of orchid, osmanthus, narcissus, minerals, pear, tangerine zest, coconut, spinach, and umami emerged in the mouth alongside subtle notes of pineapple and lychee. The previously subtle notes of sugarcane, steamed milk, cinnamon, and grass were also a little stronger, but not much. The lengthier final infusions offered lingering notes of minerals, green apple, grass, vanilla, and sugarcane accompanied by stronger pineapple notes and butter, umami, spinach, and pear undertones.
This ended up being the sort of Dayuling oolong for which I had been searching. I loved the powerful fruit and flower notes and the perfectly crisp vegetal impressions. This was an intensely aromatic, flavorful tea with wonderful body and texture in the mouth, yet it never seemed over-the-top or otherwise unbalanced in any way. Though it is now unavailable, I would have been willing to buy a larger amount of this tea had I gotten to it sooner. I will be on the lookout for other Dayuling oolongs like this one in the future.
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Citrus, Coconut, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Green Apple, Lychee, Milk, Mineral, Narcissus, Orchid, Osmanthus, Pear, Pineapple, Spinach, Sugarcane, Umami, Vanilla, Violet