Here is a review of another of my sipdowns from the summer of 2020. I generally find this tea to be one of Yunnan Sourcing’s most approachable and consistent Dancong oolongs from year to year, and this spring 2018 version was no exception. Though I have had better Mi Lan Xiang and generally tend to be picky about such teas anyway, this was a very good offering overall.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a standard 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 7 seconds. This initial infusion was chased by 16 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, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of honey, orchid, cinnamon, peach, plum, sugarcane, cream, and cherry. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of spinach, roasted almond, and orange blossom. The first infusion introduced aromas or baked bread and vanilla. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of orchid, cream, vanilla, peach, sweet cherry, sugarcane, roasted almond, and orange blossom that were chased by hints of honey, spinach, grass, nectarine, lychee, baked bread, orange zest, and cinnamon. The bulk of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of grass, butter, orange zest, custard, nectarine, lychee, pear, violet, and coriander. Stronger and more immediately presented notes of honey, lychee, grass, orange zest, baked bread, and nectarine emerged in the mouth alongside notes of minerals, pomegranate, butter, candied pomelo, pear, green apple, earth, violet, cucumber, coriander, and white grape. I also picked out some occasional hints of custard. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to emphasize notes of minerals, coriander, roasted almond, white grape, orange zest, green apple, pear, butter, and grass that were chased by a swell of subtler impressions of spinach, sugarcane, orchid, lychee, cucumber, peach, plum, and baked bread.
Compared to the Classic Mi Lan Xiang, this was a sweeter, fruitier, and more syrupy tea with a heavier, thicker mouthfeel. Its comparatively fewer quirks and rough edges made it the more approachable of the two, though that also had the effect of making it seem slightly less unique. Still, this was a very good tea. People who are into sweet, floral teas or those looking for a high quality entry into the world of Dancong oolong would love an offering like this one.
Flavors: Almond, Bread, Butter, Candy, Cherry, Cinnamon, Citrus, Coriander, Cream, Cucumber, Custard, Earth, Grass, Green Apple, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Nectarine, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Pomegranate, Spinach, Sugarcane, Sweet, Vanilla, Violet, White Grapes