Lin's Big Leaf

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Almond, Astringent, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Green, Green Beans, Plant Stems, Salt, Snow Peas, Soap, Soybean, Spices, Thick, Vanilla
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Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
Average preparation
0 min, 15 sec 4 g 5 oz / 147 ml

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From Hugo Tea Company

LIN’S BIG LEAF is a dancong oolong from the Lin family in Chaozhou, Guangdong, China. A da wu ye (“big dark leaf”) production of winter harvest material, this is one of few dancong standards that undergoes a qing xiang—"light fragrance"—process (not unlike modernist tieguanyin). This sees the leaf, after withering, tumble-rolled to about 35-40% oxidation (as compared to the 65-70% of other classic dancong), indicated by the distinctive green-blue streaks on the finished dry leaf. This tea is the daily drinker of the dancong world, but don’t let that imply da wu ye is basic—this lot was repeatedly explained as “high fragrance, with lingering taste” to us by Song Lin (our producer) and on the cupping table we coaxed out lovable layers of spice and florality that had us sipping on it well past the evaluation stage. This tea feels very much like an expression of Song’s passion for dancong making—after all, this is the same stuff they’re drinking daily on the farm. No surprise it’s just as nuanced as their more “premium” productions.

Hand-harvested in November 2021 from 40 year old trees growing at 400 meters elevation, LIN’S BIG LEAF carries the sprightly character of somewhat younger plants grown at lower elevation, but with significant body owing to the plucking standard: only the 2nd and 3rd mature leaves (left to grow even larger past the spring and summer seasons) are plucked, lending thickness and a certain minerality to each steep. After oxidation, the tea is fixed in two 4-hour rounds of lighter temperature charcoal baking at 85ºC.

Fans of young spring tea may be challenged by this lot’s mature character, favoring spice and salinity with slightly creamy body; dancong lovers will appreciate the glimpse into true farmer’s tea. Steep slightly cooler (190ºish) in short rounds (10-15 seconds at a time) for the intended experience.

NOMENCLATURE —DA (大)—"BIG" | WU (烏)—"DARK" | YE (葉)—"LEAF"

(use freshly boiled spring water)

modern, large format
[300 ml+ vessel — BOLI, large teapot]

3 grams — 190°F (88°C) — 1 minutes

traditional, small format
[150 ml- vessel — gaiwan, small teapot]

5 grams — 200°F (93°C) — 10 seconds
(no rinse)
+15-20 seconds each additional steep

About Hugo Tea Company View company

Company description not available.

1 Tasting Note

1704 tasting notes

Backlog. I didn’t have too much of this sample, and I liked the idea of it, though was a little underwhelmed. This tea is greener than the usual big leaf and resembled the recent greener styles of Dancong. Yes, the tea was viscous and prominently floral, but a little bit underwhelming. I alternated between 15 sec to 30 sec increments until longer steeps hovering around 2 minutes at the end.

Here’s my impression: I didn’t really get aromatic Nag Champa vibes, though I got creamy, spicy, flower stems, grass, vanilla, soybean, almond, and that’s about it with some floral astringency and bitterness.

Maybe I didn’t brew it right-who knows. I personally recommend their Wuyi collection like their version of Panlan Robe or Qilan if you are getting into their oolong teas over this one. I highly enjoyed Lin’s Red more, and liked Lin’s Duck more, which surprised me because I usually prefer lighter teas. I still recommend Hugo because they have gotten some impressive experimental teas from their collaboration work, and this one is good if you are looking into what a greener dancong can taste like. Reading their description, this really is more of an experts tea. Their warning for people who like fresh spring tea is a good one, and I definitely get a scented salt or saline quality overall.

Flavors: Almond, Astringent, Cream, Creamy, Floral, Green, Green Beans, Plant Stems, Salt, Snow Peas, Soap, Soybean, Spices, Thick, Vanilla

0 min, 15 sec 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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