Okay, it’s time to review something I consumed a little more recently. I finished a 50g pouch of this tea back around mid-late July. I had been sitting on it for well over a year, but to be honest, I was not terribly concerned considering that Dancong oolongs have a reputation for keeping well in storage. Fortunately, what I had of this tea was still vibrant and complex, if a tad mellow. It clearly had not lost much of anything in storage and ended up being a near perfect summer oolong.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 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, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of peach, nectarine, honey, lychee, pomegranate, and orchid. After the rinse, I detected a stronger orchid aroma as well as new aromas of cream, vanilla, butter, and sugarcane. The first infusion then introduced a hint of violet to the nose. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of peach, nectarine, and lychee that were soon chased by impressions of cream, butter, sugarcane, pomegranate, vanilla, and orchid. Subtle notes of roasted almond, grass, and malt then appeared briefly on the swallow. The bulk of the subsequent infusions revealed stronger violet impressions as well as new aromas of rose, pear, and melon on the nose. Violet and honey notes belatedly emerged in the mouth along with stronger impressions of roasted almond, grass, and malt. I also detected notes of pear, toast, caraway, rose, apple, watermelon, and minerals. I even picked up on some faint marshmallow hints on a few of these infusions. The final infusions emphasized lingering mineral, sugarcane, grass, watermelon, pear, lychee, and malt notes that were backed by stray, fleeting rose, violet, cream, and butter hints.

This was a surprisingly deep and complex Dancong oolong with respectable longevity compared to some of the other teas of this type that I have tried. I was honestly in awe of how well it held up in storage, and though I enjoyed it immensely, this ended up being a sad sipdown for me. Fortunately, I have at least one pouch of one of the more recent harvests to which I can eventually compare this one.

Flavors: Almond, Apple, Butter, Cream, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Lychee, Malt, Marshmallow, Melon, Mineral, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Rose, Stonefruit, Sugarcane, Toast, Vanilla, Violet

6 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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