I was thinking about this a little earlier, but it’s funny how I fall into habits regarding specific vendors. I very quickly reach a point where I associate tea vendors with one or more particular types of tea and ignore the rest of their offerings. For example, I associate Harney & Sons with straight black teas, black tea blends, and tisanes. Very rarely do I purchase any other types of tea from them. I decided to break that trend recently. I ended up purchasing several green teas and oolongs from Harney & Sons in order to get a better handle on their range of offerings. I started my exploration of these teas with this particular oolong. I found it to be a nice, solid tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 11 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted a pleasant mixture of grass, lemon, cream, butter, and indistinct floral aromas. After the rinse, aromas of watercress and cucumber emerged alongside aromas of vanilla, gardenia, honeysuckle, lilac, and magnolia. The first infusion brought out a subtle touch of orchid on the nose. In the mouth, the liquor revealed very light notes of cream, butter, grass, cucumber, watercress, and vanilla underscored by ghostly floral impressions. Subsequent infusions brought out both the lemon and the melange of flowers in a big way. I found the floral notes a little difficult to pinpoint. I know I definitely picked up lilac, honeysuckle, gardenia, magnolia, and orchid, but there was something else too. It reminded me a bit of both apple blossom and lily at different points. The later infusions saw minerals emerge to dominate the fading notes of lemon, cream, butter, grass, cucumber, and vanilla. I did not pick up much in the way of any lingering floral impressions.
There was a lot going on in this tea, but as oxymoronic as this may sound, I did not find it to be all that complex of a tea. The tea very gracefully moved from savory and smooth to grassy and vegetal to lemony to floral with most infusions. It was as regular as clockwork. While it was nice to know where this tea was going , I do have to say that I found it a bit boring towards the end of the session because the flow of the flavor sensations was so predictable by that point. That being said, I would still recommend this tea to anyone interested in jade Dong Ding oolongs. It’s an extremely solid, likable tea that is easy to drink.
Flavors: Butter, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Gardenias, Grass, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Mineral, Orchid, Vanilla, Vegetal