Despite its fame, I haven’t had many ya shi xiang oolongs to date. This one is amazing though! It has a very sweet, bitter and mineral character, which is hard to pin down exactly. The aftertaste is very attention seeking without being overpowering in any way. It feels like it should be well-defined, yet I am unable to find the right associations to describe it.
Likewise, the aromas are very complex and elusive. Some of the notes I noticed in the dry leaf aroma include caramel, cream, and honeysuckle. After the rinse, the smell is sweet, floral with milky and vegetal undertones. Additionally, there are also hints of fish and bread.
Similarly, I also noted a mild yeasty flavour in the taste, especially in the finish. Another interesting flavour that kept reappearing is that of white currants. Overall though, as I already mentioned, it is a sweetness dominated tea with just a bit of floral notes that nevertheless intensify over time. Aftertaste is again very sweet – a bit like brown sugar – as well as mineral. Fennel and butter are among the new flavours that emerge after swallowing.
As seems to be the theme with this one, the mouthfeel is also hard to describe. At first, the liquor is both soft and chalky, and rolls around the mouth very easily. It gets pretty thick and cooling in the middle of the session too. I’d describe it as active yet elegant overall. The cha qi is warming and very pleasant; and one can get a lot of tea from these leaves in the course of one session.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Berries, Bitter, Black Currant, Brown Sugar, Butter, Caramel, Cream, Fennel, Fishy, Floral, Honeysuckle, Milk, Mineral, Sweet, Thick, Vegetal, Yeast