This was the last of the samples I purchased from Unytea towards the middle of the past year. I didn’t know what to expect from it, as I had never tried a Yu Lan Xiang, but I just had to purchase it since I had to see if it smelled and/or tasted like magnolia blossoms. And did it? Yes, it most certainly did. This was very smooth and mellow for a Dancong with a wonderful, distinct magnolia fragrance and taste to go along with rather admirable longevity.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 8 seconds. Unytea suggested starting with a 15 second steep time, but I’m used to starting with shorter infusions, so that’s what I did. This infusion was chased by 13 additional 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 pronounced aromas of magnolia, cream, and vanilla. After the rinse, I found an emerging aroma of custard. The first proper infusion brought out hints of apple and citrus on the nose. In the mouth, I only noted faint impressions of cream, vanilla, magnolia, and apple. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger notes of cream, vanilla, magnolia, and apple on the palate. I also started noting flavors of custard, lemon, and orange zest. New impressions of minerals, sweetgrass, pear, butter, and apricot emerged around this point as well. Later infusions were heavy on the mineral, butter, apple, and pear notes, though I could still find traces of magnolia, citrus, and sweetgrass in the background.
This wasn’t the heaviest or most complex Dancong in the world, but I could find quite a bit to like about it. For one, it did not leave one wondering what sort of floral notes it was presenting. Secondly, it never turned soapy, slick, or astringent in the mouth. As mentioned above, it also displayed admirable longevity. Personally, I would have liked to see more depth and complexity both on the nose and in the mouth, and I would have liked a mouthfeel with a touch more heft, but overall, this was very nice. I would definitely recommend it to those looking for a truly floral Dancong oolong.
Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Butter, Cream, Custard, Floral, Grass, Lemon, Mineral, Orange Zest, Pear, Vanilla