This was my most recent sipdown. I actually finished what I had of this tea earlier in the afternoon. This was also a type of Dancong oolong I had never previously encountered. Apparently, it is named after the fruit of a tree, Myrica rubra, that is common in Guangdong Province and is also known as yamamomo (mountain peach), Chinese bayberry, Japanese bayberry, yumberry, red bayberry, waxberry, and Chinese strawberry. I have never tried or even seen one of these fruits, so I have no clue if the scent or flavor of this tea bares any resemblance to those of the fruit. What I do know is that this struck me as being a great tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This 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 presented aromas of cream, butter, custard, orange blossom, orchid, and sugarcane. After the rinse, I detected baked bread and vanilla aromas as well as stronger scents of custard and sugarcane. The first infusion introduced a steamed milk scent. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cream, butter, custard, orange blossom, sugarcane, orchid, and tangerine that were chased by hints of pomegranate, sour cherry, grass, violet, and white pepper. The subsequent infusions revealed aromas of grass, coriander, nutmeg, red grapefruit, and white pepper as well as subtler scents of lemon curd and tangerine. Stronger and more immediate sour cherry, grass, white pepper, and violet notes appeared in the mouth alongside belatedly emerging impressions of steamed milk and notes of minerals, daylily, daylily shoots, coriander, and nutmeg. I also picked up on subtler impressions of lemon curd, red grapefruit, and honey. As the tea faded, the liqour emphasized mineral, grass, steamed milk, cream, custard, sugarcane, daylily shoot, and lemon curd notes that were balanced by hints of tangerine, butter, baked bread, sour cherry, violet, and honey and late arriving hay and basil touches.
This was both one of the most interesting and satisfying Dancong oolongs I have tried this year. I do not recall ever trying another tea quite like it. I frequently feel like I write the same things over and over again when I review Dancong oolongs, but this tea was decidedly different as it presented me with a wealth of new and fresh aromas and flavors. This tea’s natural cream, steamed milk, custard, and butter notes, as well as some of its more floral and vegetal components, reminded me of many of the Taiwanese and Southeast Asian Jin Xuan oolongs I have tried, while the stone fruit, citrus, and herb notes reminded me a bit of Ya Shi Dancong. Overall, this was a fascinating and pleasing tea, one I would wholeheartedly recommend to fans of Dancong oolongs.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Butter, Cherry, Citrus, Coriander, Cream, Custard, Floral, Fruity, Grapefruit, Grass, Hay, Herbaceous, Honey, Lemon, Milk, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Pepper, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet