Yet another of the samples I recently finished, this made for an extremely interesting contrast with the Mei Zhan. While the Mei Zhan was earthy, grainy, and chocolaty with integrated fruity and floral characteristics, this oolong was much sweeter and lighter. It offered a creamier texture in the mouth and more of a pronounced floral quality overall.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I started off with an initial infusion of 5 seconds in 4 ounces of 208 F water using 5 grams of loose tea leaves. I followed this infusion up with 10 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 8 seconds, 11 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry leaves emitted a mildly floral aroma. After the rinse, I picked up on more pronounced aromas of flowers, vanilla, cream, and huckleberry. The first infusion presented a similar, though somewhat more floral aroma. In the mouth, I detected delicate notes of huckleberry, vanilla, cream, and minerals underscored by an orchid-like floral character. Subsequent infusions were considerably fruitier and more floral on the nose and in the mouth. I began to note more pronounced aromas and flavors of orchid, lotus, and jasmine. I also began to note a subtle breadiness and a fairly noticeable fruitiness on the finish. The people at Verdant describe it as a “hint of tamarind,” and quite frankly, I found that to be a more or less accurate description. The minerality also began to emerge more fully at this point. The later infusions were very mineral heavy, though I could still detect subtle aromas and flavors of fresh bread, vanilla, cream, and flowers.
As mentioned earlier, this made for an extremely interesting contrast with the Mei Zhan. I was expecting an earthy, mineral heavy tea, but surprisingly, this was all sweetness and light. Despite the obvious mineral character, this did not come across like any other Wuyi oolong I have tried to this point. I very much enjoyed this tea’s floral aroma and flavor and could definitely see myself returning to this one in the near future.
Flavors: Bread, Cream, Floral, Fruity, Huckleberry, Jasmine, Mineral, Orchid, Vanilla