Ya Shi Xiang dan cong oolong tea from Ping Keng Tou village Spring 2014

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Almond, Apricot, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Citrus, Cream, Earth, Floral, Grapefruit, Grass, Jasmine, Mineral, Nutty, Orange, Peach, Roasted, Spinach, Tannin, Wood
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by apefuzz
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 oz / 135 ml

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “From my records, I see I bought 50 g of this oolong in early 2015 for $8. If only Dan Congs were still that affordable! Before I got my gongfu equipment, I would dump a few leaves of this tea into...” Read full tasting note
    86
  • “Another quick review, as this was a sample I brought to work. The roast, as it usually does, comes out as a nice toasty flavor. The last reviewer was correct though, as the dominating flavor is...” Read full tasting note
    87
  • “Dry leaf – CHOCOLATE, NUT, FRUIT: dark chocolate and cocoa, with notes of roast peanut, orange peel, and dried apricot. In preheated vessel – rich fruit develops: dried apricot, peach, orange...” Read full tasting note
    90

From Yunnan Sourcing

Ya Shi Xiang Dan Cong (aka Duck Shit Aroma) is a rare Dan Cong varietal grown in and around Ping Keng Tou village in the Phoenix Mountains outside of Chaozhou in Guangdong Province. The varietal of Dan Cong is considered to be the Almond Style and has been grown for about 80 years.

It’s called “duck shit aroma” because in the Ping Keng Tou village area the soil has a somewhat yellow brown look to it and is unique to that area. With all teas the soil type is a key element in the tea’s taste. Villagers wanting to guard the uniqueness of their tea bushes told outsiders that the color and uniqueness of the soil in their village was due to copious amounts of duck shit and began to call the their Dan Cong “duck shit aroma”. True or not it’s an entertaining story which reveals why the tea has such a gross name.

The tea itself is lightly oxidized and the leaves are still mostly green in color. The brewed tea is highly aromatic with flower, honey and almond notes. The mouthfeel is delicate and soothing with a taste that perfectly balances sweet, bitter, and astringent notes, none of which are overpowering.

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3 Tasting Notes

86
259 tasting notes

From my records, I see I bought 50 g of this oolong in early 2015 for $8. If only Dan Congs were still that affordable! Before I got my gongfu equipment, I would dump a few leaves of this tea into my Finum infuser and thought it was tasty. Then I tried gongfuing it and it was a bitter mess, leading to its relegation to the “tea museum” at the back of my cupboard.

Okay, let’s try this again. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml porcelain teapot at 195F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is faint and is of almond, roast, wood, florals, and peach. The first steep has a pronounced almond note, behind which is hiding tannins, baked peaches, minerals, cream, brown sugar, florals, and wood. The more this is held in the mouth, the more that almond flavour takes over. This isn’t true for the aroma, which is a nice balance among the various flavours. The returning aftertaste is also amazing, with peach, mandarin orange, jasmine floorals, and almonds. The same thing happens in the second steep, with the peach and floral aftertaste being the best part of the experience.

Peach, orange, and apricot appear in the third and fourth steeps, though the almond is by far the strongest flavour. The accompanying bitterness is reminiscent of almond skin. Some grass and grapefruit show up in steep five. By steep seven, the roast, wood, and minerals are becoming more prominent, although the almonds are still going strong and the stonefruit, citrus, and florals are still present in the aroma and aftertaste. The end of the session has notes of spinach, earth, tannins, nuts, wood, and roast, and is quite bitter.

If the floral, citrus, and stonefruit flavours of this tea had made it into the actual sip instead of just the aroma and aftertaste, I’d have rated it in the nineties. As is, the session was kind of frustrating. I’d love to know whether tweaking the brewing parameters could pull these flavours out a little more.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Bitter, Brown Sugar, Citrus, Cream, Earth, Floral, Grapefruit, Grass, Jasmine, Mineral, Nutty, Orange, Peach, Roasted, Spinach, Tannin, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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87
239 tasting notes

Another quick review, as this was a sample I brought to work.

The roast, as it usually does, comes out as a nice toasty flavor. The last reviewer was correct though, as the dominating flavor is FRUIT by far. I wouldn’t call it peach. To me, it’s more like apricot and grape skins. Whatever it is, it’s STRONG.

There’s also a pretty strong floral component, that when combined with the fruit flavor reminds me of sitting in an orchard in springtime. Fruit blossoms!

A very nice sample. Thank you tea swap friend!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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90
167 tasting notes

Dry leaf – CHOCOLATE, NUT, FRUIT: dark chocolate and cocoa, with notes of roast peanut, orange peel, and dried apricot. In preheated vessel – rich fruit develops: dried apricot, peach, orange peel, peach jelly candy, some fruity oiliness

Smell – NUT, FRUIT: roast peanut, peach notes, hint of green leaf/twig bitterness

Taste – NUT, FLORAL, MINERAL, TART, PEACH: In the mouth, general oolong roasted nuttiness, vanilla and light floral scents come up from time to time; slight wet rock minerality and green leaf astringency; fruity tartness carries hints of strong peach flavor that is to develop. Aftertaste brings a wave of peach (fresh, peach jelly, peach jelly candies, even peaches and cream), that is balanced by a perfectly balanced mineral “bassline.”

So, this is the famous ya shi.

What a great session. First of all, PEACH! This thing screams peach. Not at first, but, once that first hui gan comes rolling around… It’s strong, it’s rich, it has depth – all kinds of various peach flavors come from the throat and coat your mouth.

This is so delightful (not a word I use often!) and so distracting, in a way, that it took me a while to appreciate the in-mouth flavors. At first, I kind of wrote them off as a little subdued, a little (just a little) lacking in complexity. However, after pausing and taking my time with it, I began enjoying these flavors as well. In the mouth, the experience is drier, with an intriguing development of pleasant tannins and minerality subdued by a familiar roasted nuttiness and oolonginess. There is a fruity tartness, too, that hints at the waves of peach that are about to arrive.

So, A+ on providing an interesting and rewarding tea session that got my Saturday off to a great start.

A few parting notes – One, this guy has some staying power. After 6 (maybe 7) steeps, the flavors get a little woodier, not in a bad way, but you can tell you have tapped out the initial flavors of the leaf. Nonetheless, the peach flavors continue as strong as ever, to the point where I felt a little guilty ending the session. Probably could do something with the spent leaves and have some awesome iced tea or something.

Two, I don’t really note qi. I don’t seek after it, and most teas generally make me feel about the same. This tea, however, has some power. On one particular day that started at 5:15 am, I had two rounds of tea – some raw pu’erh about 9 years old in the morning, and this stuff in the early afternoon. The oolong won. Way more power – totally tea drunk.

In fact, currently tea drunk. Post too long. Must end. Get some of this – you won’t be disappointed.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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