This was another recent sipdown of mine. Recently, I have been prioritizing finishing some of the 2017 and 2018 Dan Cong oolongs I have purchased over the last year or so, but at the same time, I have also been trying to make sure that I am primarily trying teas produced from cultivars with which I have little or no familiarity. I plan on coming back around to the teas produced from more familiar cultivars once I get the novel stuff out of the way. Anyway, this was a new one for me. Prior to trying this tea, I had never tried anything produced from the Zhu Ye cultivar. Several sources indicated that it was essentially a subcultivar of Zhi Lan Xiang, a personal favorite of mine. After trying this tea, I could see that being true. There were quite a few similarities between this Zhu Ye and the last Zhi Lan Xiang I tried. I ended up liking this tea more, though, as it offered tremendous depth and complexity as well as very respectable longevity for a Dan Cong.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After the rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 203 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 16 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 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, and 10 minutes..
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of orchid, orange blossom, tangerine, pineapple, and vanilla. After the rinse, I noted new aromas of almond, butter, cream, grass, and spinach. The first infusion introduced aromas of lychee, pastry, and cannabis. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of orchid, orange blossom, almond, vanilla, cream, tangerine, pineapple, and grass that were chased by pastry and cannabis hints. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of cherry, apple, baked bread, jasmine, violet, plum, honey, and coconut. Lychee, butter, and spinach notes emerged along with stronger and more immediate pastry notes. New impressions of baked bread, cherry, plum, jasmine, honey, violet, coconut, apple, minerals, and Asian pear also made themselves known. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized lingering impressions of minerals, pineapple, Asian pear, apple, cream, and vanilla that were backed by fleeting hints of baked bread, orange blossom, plum, grass, tangerine, and spinach.
This tea produced a very aromatic, pleasant, and easy-drinking tea liquor that was a blast to pick apart. It had a ton of natural sweetness, and though I normally do not go for teas that strike me as being very sweet, this one did it for me. I could see people who are into extremely floral and/or fruity teas getting a kick out of this one. If floral, sweet, and fruity are your things, give this one a shot.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Baked Bread, Butter, Cannabis, Cherry, Citrus, Coconut, Cream, Grass, Honey, Jasmine, Lychee, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Pastries, Pineapple, Plums, Spinach, Sweet, Vanilla, Violet