From my records, I see I bought 50 g of this oolong in early 2015 for $8. If only Dan Congs were still that affordable! Before I got my gongfu equipment, I would dump a few leaves of this tea into my Finum infuser and thought it was tasty. Then I tried gongfuing it and it was a bitter mess, leading to its relegation to the “tea museum” at the back of my cupboard.
Okay, let’s try this again. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain teapot at 195F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is faint and is of almond, roast, wood, florals, and peach. The first steep has a pronounced almond note, behind which is hiding tannins, baked peaches, minerals, cream, brown sugar, florals, and wood. The more this is held in the mouth, the more that almond flavour takes over. This isn’t true for the aroma, which is a nice balance among the various flavours. The returning aftertaste is also amazing, with peach, mandarin orange, jasmine floorals, and almonds. The same thing happens in the second steep, with the peach and floral aftertaste being the best part of the experience.
Peach, orange, and apricot appear in the third and fourth steeps, though the almond is by far the strongest flavour. The accompanying bitterness is reminiscent of almond skin. Some grass and grapefruit show up in steep five. By steep seven, the roast, wood, and minerals are becoming more prominent, although the almonds are still going strong and the stonefruit, citrus, and florals are still present in the aroma and aftertaste. The end of the session has notes of spinach, earth, tannins, nuts, wood, and roast, and is quite bitter.
If the floral, citrus, and stonefruit flavours of this tea had made it into the actual sip instead of just the aroma and aftertaste, I’d have rated it in the nineties. As is, the session was kind of frustrating. I’d love to know whether tweaking the brewing parameters could pull these flavours out a little more.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Citrus, Cream, Earth, Floral, Grapefruit, Grass, Jasmine, Mineral, Nutty, Orange, Peach, Roasted, Spinach, Tannin, Wood