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