Okay, time to get busy. I have been so lazy for the last three days. For whatever reason, I have just not been able to motivate myself to do much of anything outside of work. At least I haven’t been drinking a ton of different teas. If that were the case, my backlog would once again be out of control. Getting back on track here, I finished what I had of this tea last week. I found it to be an excellent Dan Cong oolong with a lot to offer.
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 chased by 17 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, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of cinnamon, butter, cream, cherry, and wood. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of orchid, roasted almond, honey, and ginger accompanying a vague vegetal scent. The first infusion introduced aromas of spinach, grass, and orange zest. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cinnamon, cream, butter, wood, and ginger that were chased by impressions of spinach, grass, and coriander as well as hints of honey. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of coriander, baked bread, vanilla, geranium, moss, green apple, and pear. Roasted almond, cherry, orchid, and orange zest notes came out in the mouth along with new impressions of minerals, cattail shoots, macadamia nut, vanilla, baked bread, geranium, green apple, moss, and Asian pear. There were also some hints of earthiness here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized lingering notes of minerals, cream, butter, roasted almond, and ginger that were backed by hints of baked bread, orchid, grass, and cattail shoots.
Very different from the other Shui Xian oolongs I have tried, this was an endlessly intriguing, surprisingly long-lived, and incredibly textured tea that also displayed tremendous complexity, depth, and balance. In my experience, many Dan Cong oolongs tend to beat the drinker over the head with floral and fruity aromas and flavors, but this tea was smoother, subtler, and more restrained, often emphasizing its creamy, buttery, bready, spicy, woody, and vegetal characteristics. In terms of style, this tea seemed to exist at the halfway point between a lighter roasted Zhangping Shui Xian and a Wuyi Shui Xian as it displayed some of the best qualities of both. For fans of Shui Xian and Dan Cong oolongs alike, this tea should be a must-try.
Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Butter, Cherry, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cream, Earth, Geranium, Ginger, Grass, Green Apple, Honey, Mineral, Moss, Nutty, Orange Zest, Orchid, Pear, Spinach, Vanilla, Vegetal, Wood