I’m still catching up on all of the backlogged reviews. I kind of can’t believe it has taken me so long to even make it this far. I drank this tea nearly two weeks ago. Fortunately, I took extremely detailed session notes. That makes things easier. Regarding this tea, I found it to be a very good, very solid white tea.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse (about 10 seconds), I allowed the tea to rest for several minutes and then steeped the entire dragon ball in 5 ounces of 195 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, and 15 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea ball produced aromas of grass, hay, and lemon zest underscored by a subtle eucalyptus presence. After the rinse, I found new aromas of oats, cream, and straw. The aroma of the first proper infusion was more or less identical. In the mouth, I found fleeting, vague impressions of oats, cream, butter, hay, grass, and straw backed by even subtler touches of lemon zest, earth, and dried fruit. Oddly, there was no eucalyptus presence in the mouth. Subsequent infusions saw the eucalyptus appear in the mouth, as well as the emergence of powdered sugar, vanilla, marshmallow, date, golden raisin, malt, almond, wheat toast, honey, chamomile, and mineral impressions on the nose and in the mouth. The later infusions emphasized mineral, malt, wheat toast, honey, hay, cream, oat, butter, almond, and golden raisin impressions. I also thought I caught a hint of pine here and there as well.
Yunnan Sourcing stated that these dragon balls could be brewed all the way through 7 or 8 times, and quite frankly, that does not surprise me. My experience with this tea starting with flash steeps suggested that it had considerable longevity. Hindsight being 20/20, I should have started with a longer first infusion and spaced the subsequent infusions out more, as it took the dragon ball forever to loosen and separate and for the tea’s aromas and flavors to emerge at their strongest and most fully developed. While I greatly respected this tea’s complexity and longevity, I do have to knock it somewhat as I found that it became a little bitter and astringent on some of the longer infusions late in the session. It was a nice tea and I would recommend it to anyone considering giving it a shot, but honestly, it was not the best moonlight white tea I have had to this point.
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Cream, Dates, Earth, Eucalyptus, Floral, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lemon Zest, Malt, Marshmallow, Mineral, Oats, Pine, Raisins, Straw, Sugar, Toast, Wheat