Here is one of my sipdowns from around the start of August. I’m not sure why I have been holding off on posting this one so long, as it was one of the best and most memorable teas I have tried in the last four months. I know Yunnan Sourcing’s Dancong oolongs can be a bit hit or miss, but this was seriously one of the best I have tried from them.
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 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 peach, plum, orchid, pomegranate, honey, sugarcane, and vanilla that were underscored by hints of sweet potato. After the rinse, a little more sweet potato came out on the nose alongside aromas of butter and cream. The first infusion introduced aromas of grass, spinach, and roasted almond. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, roasted almond, honey, orchid, and peach that were chased by hints of grass, sugarcane, vanilla, sweet potato, and pomegranate. The subsequent infusions introduced aromas of orange zest, cinnamon, iris, brown sugar, wood, steamed milk, earth, violet, basil, and baked bread. Stronger and more immediate notes of sweet potato, grass, pomegranate, and vanilla came out in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, earth, wood, sour cherry, brown sugar, baked bread, steamed milk, plum, cinnamon, cucumber, watermelon rind, orange zest, coriander, apricot, violet, and pear. I also noted hints of spinach and basil. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized mineral, grass, watermelon rind, plum, wood, steamed milk, and sour cherry notes that were balanced by subtler impressions of earth, spinach, brown sugar, cucumber, baked bread, plum, pear, butter, violet, and orchid.
This was a ridiculously complex and layered tea that was also a ton of fun to drink. It made me wish that all of Yunnan Sourcing’s Dancong offerings were similarly enjoyable, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Fans of Dancong oolongs who are looking for something a little fancier and a little more challenging would do well to check out an offering like this one.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Brown Sugar, Butter, Cherry, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cream, Cucumber, Earth, Fruity, Grass, Herbaceous, Honey, Melon, Milk, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Plum, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Violet, Wood