This was one of my most recent sipdowns as I finished my 10g sample pouch of this tea a couple days ago. Prior to trying this, I do not recall ever trying any other Xiong Di Zai. I found it to be a very mellow, pleasant tea, though it was a little short-lived.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 7 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 produced aromas of cream, vanilla, almond, grapefruit, nectarine, and plum. After the rinse, I noted aromas of candied orange, grass, orchid, and orange blossom. The first infusion brought out a subtle peach aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor offered notes of cream, almond, orchid, orange blossom, candied orange, and grapefruit that were backed by stone fruit and grass hints. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of lychee, nutmeg, violet, steamed milk, and pear. Plum, peach, vanilla, and nectarine notes appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, lychee, custard, lemon zest, violet, pear, nutmeg, steamed milk, and macadamia. There were also some pleasant hints of cantaloupe and stronger and more immediate impressions of grass. As mentioned earlier, the tea faded fairly quickly, and by the end of the session, I was mostly getting fleeting, more or less washed-out mineral, almond, grass, pear, and lemon zest notes that were chased by even fainter impressions of candied orange, lychee, cream, vanilla, and grapefruit that I had to really concentrate on to identify.

This was a very pleasant, easygoing Dan Cong oolong with a great deal of depth and complexity. It was unfortunate that it faded so quickly, though I am also well aware that quite a few higher quality Dan Cong oolongs are not noted for their resilience and longevity. Overall, this was a very nice Dan Cong oolong. I’m now looking forward to trying a few different Xiong Di Zai to see how this one compares.

Flavors: Almond, Candy, Cantaloupe, Cream, Custard, Grapefruit, Grass, Lemon Zest, Lychee, Milk, Mineral, Nutmeg, Nutty, Orange, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Plums, Stonefruits, 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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