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

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky



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