Normally I’m not one for roasted teas and always underleaf because I find them too unbearable otherwise. Still I find myself being drawn to darker style oolongs lately for winter comfort. Wuyis are a perennial favorite yet it’s hard to find one that doesn’t taste like an ashtray. One of reasons I love this tea is because the delicate roast allows its wonderfully complex flavor to shine through.
The dry leaves in a warmed gaiwan exude an amazing fruity aroma. Wet leaf changes to a deep earthy aroma, like a wet forest after the rain, and produces a beautiful light amber liqueur. My first steep was smooth and rich. Soft roasted body, much lighter than a regular DHP. There’s some earthiness and mineral flavor there but not over the top. I’m getting some sweetness in there too. A very well-balanced cup.
The flavor really begins to pop at the second steep. This one is sweeter, and more mineral. The roastiness has faded as light florals begin to emerge and there is a pleasant honeyed aftertaste. It’s juicy, crisp, and clean. My favorite steep by far.
The next two steeps are fairly similar. The rock sugar sweetness intensifies and the tea flavors becomes clearer. I’m impressed by how full flavored the later steepings were even though it was brewed western style with just a pinch of leaves.
I had a Dan Cong earlier in the day and was struck by how much this tea resembled it with its honeyed sweetness, floral notes, and light roast.
I didn’t think it could get any better than WP’s regular Da Hong Pao but their Wildcrafted varietal is really on another level altogether. This is truly an incredible wuyi oolong and hands down the best I’ve ever had.
Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Fruity, Honey, Mineral, Roasted, Wet Wood