Here is yet another recent sipdown of mine. I finished what I had of this tea at the start of the week. It was another unfamiliar Dan Cong oolong for me. I had heard good things about Lao Xian Ong, but had never tried a tea produced from the cultivar prior to this one. It seems to be less common than some of the other varieties out there. Interestingly, it appears that Yunnan Sourcing did not offer a spring 2018 version of this tea, instead offering a middle mountain Lao Xian Ong from a different village. That is a shame because this tea was a beauty.
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 15 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, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of orange, peach, nectarine, orchid, and vanilla. After the rinse, I picked up new aromas of green bell pepper, grass, cherry, cream, and baked bread. The first infusion introduced aromas of nutmeg, spinach, and almond. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of orange, peach, orchid, vanilla, cream, almond, baked bread, butter, and cherry that were chased by hints of green bell pepper and grass. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of violet, butter, pear, apple, pineapple, plum, plumeria, and orange blossom. Hints of spinach came out in the mouth alongside nutmeg, almond, and nectarine notes. New impressions of minerals, lychee, pear, orange blossom, violet, plum, pineapple, apple, plumeria, and white grape also appeared. As the tea faded, the tea liquor emphasized lingering notes of minerals, orange, plum, cream, butter, vanilla, almond, and cherry that were underscored by hints of nectarine, grass, white grape, lychee, and spinach.
This was a very interesting tea. Despite the complexity of the tea’s bouquet, it was frequently subtler on the nose than it was in the mouth. Each transition from the sniff to the snip was like a sudden punch, and it was like that pretty much the entire session. Even though I knew more or less what was coming at me on each infusion, I was always pleasantly surprised by the strength of the tea liquor; it kept drawing me back for more over and over again. Honestly, I probably could have gotten a little more out of this tea, but unfortunately, I started my review session late and only had enough for the one session. I finally just had to cut if off so I could get some sleep. Anyway, this was a special tea. I hope that Yunnan Sourcing will be able to bring this one back in the near future.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Baked Bread, Butter, Cherry, Cream, Floral, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Lychee, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Plums, Spinach, Stonefruits, Vanilla, Violet, White Grapes