I can’t remember whether I purchased this tea from Yunnan Sourcing or Yunnan Sourcing US, not that it matters all that much. I think I bought it from Yunnan Sourcing, thus I am posting this review here. I’ve lately become a big fan of Da Wu Ye Dancong oolongs. I found this one to be rather excellent and unique, and that surprised me because I do not always see winter harvested Chinese oolongs getting a lot of love.

I prepared this tea gongfu style using a little more leaf than normal. After a very quick rinse, I steeped 7 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 7 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of sweetgrass, toast, roasted almond, cream, and butter underscored by hints of fresh flowers. After the rinse, I found stronger floral aromas reminiscent of violet and gardenia coupled with emerging hints of wood and citrus. The first infusion brought out a stronger violet scent and new aromas of vanilla and orchid. In the mouth, I detected notes of toast, roasted almond, cream, butter, and sweetgrass backed by subtler notes of citrus, orchid, gardenia, and violet. I also caught hints of vanilla, peach, and pear. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger orchid, gardenia, violet, vanilla, peach, and pear notes, as well as emerging notes of minerals, roasted walnut, lychee, malt, apricot, and rose. Something of a subtle woodiness emerged in the mouth and the previously vague citrus notes eventually morphed into more distinct impressions of lemon candy, orange zest, and pomelo. The later infusions mostly offered lingering mineral, cream, and sweetgrass notes balanced by hints of citrus and violet.

Intensely floral and complex with a little more longevity than expected, this was an immediately appealing tea. I loved how it richly rewarded patient, focused sipping. This one did not come back for Winter 2017, instead being replaced by a Ya Shi Xiang, but I am so happy that I went out of my way to acquire it while I could. It had not lost a step in storage and seemed like it could probably stand up to further aging very well.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Candy, Citrus, Cream, Gardenias, Grass, Lemon, Lychee, Malt, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Rose, Toast, Vanilla, Violet, Walnut, Wood

7 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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