After I finished my black tea binge earlier in the month, I more or less tore into a bunch of Dan Cong oolongs I had lying around, taking only brief breaks to work my way through a couple extra black teas, some other oolongs, and a green tea or two. The 2018 Xing Ren Xiang from Wuyi Origin was the tea that got the current binge started, but this tea may be the one most responsible for perpetuating it. Specifically, it spurred me to prioritize trying some of the rarer and more unusual Dan Cong oolongs. Unfortunately, I have yet to hit on one that satisfied me the way this tea did. Quite frankly, I found it to be an exceptional offering.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing, 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 honey, peach, tangerine, lychee, cream, and vanilla. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of orange blossom and roasted almond. The first infusion introduced aromas of grass, sugarcane, and orchid. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of honey, peach, lychee, tangerine, orchid, and orange blossom that were chased by vanilla, sugarcane, and grass hints. I also noted a subtle eucalyptus presence in the aftertaste. Subsequent infusions introduced aromas of pear, nutmeg, caraway, violet, plum, and cherry. Cream notes came out in the mouth along with notes of minerals, nutmeg, pear, caraway, wood, violet, plum, and honeydew. There were also some subtle notes of red currant, cherry, and apple here and there. By the end of the session, I could still detect subtle notes of minerals, pear, lychee, tangerine, wood, apple, and cream in the tea liquor that were underscored by roasted almond, orchid, grass, violet, and vanilla accents. The subtle eucalyptus presence was still noticeable in the aftertaste too.
This was an absolutely fascinating and fantastic oolong. That cooling eucalyptus hint after every swallow kept me diving back into cup after cup. And for a Dan Cong oolong, this tea was ridiculously long-lived. Each infusion offered something to appreciate, and despite the tea’s depth and complexity, everything worked well together. Yeah, I found this to be a great tea. I can’t really find serious fault with it. It turned a little soapy and slick toward the end of my review session, but even then, the texture was never what I would describe as unpleasant. Definitely check this tea out if you are at all interested in Dan Cong oolongs.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Cherry, Citrus, Cream, Eucalyptus, Fruity, Grass, Honey, Honeydew, Lychee, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Plums, Sugarcane, Vanilla, Violet, Wood