It’s time to take a brief break from reviewing black teas. I have been so focused on posting reviews of all the black teas I have been drinking that I have been almost completely ignoring all of the other reviews I have allowed to pile up over the last year. This was one of my sipdowns from the second half of September. I normally enjoy Yunnan Sourcing’s Ling Tou Village “Bai Ye” every year, and this tea did not buck that trend, though it did strike me as being a little less enjoyable than the 2016 and 2017 offerings.
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 7 seconds. This infusion was followed 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, and 7 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves emitted aromas of cherry, pine, candied pomelo, orchid, and pomegranate. After the rinse, I detected aromas of peach, lotus, orange blossom, honey, and apricot. The first infusion brought out aromas of roasted almond, butter, cream, and grass as well as subtle cannabis and spinach scents. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of cherry, orchid, cream, butter, roasted almond, and grass that were chased by hints of pine, nectarine, peach, apricot, cannabis, spinach, and orange blossom. The bulk of the subsequent infusions introduced aromas of coriander, vanilla, and green bell pepper. Lotus and honey notes appeared in the mouth as well as stronger and more immediately notable flavors of orange blossom, peach, nectarine, and apricot. I also detected notes of minerals, green bell pepper, grass, green apple, unripened pear, vanilla, orange zest, white grape, and green wood. Hints of pomegranate, candied pomelo, coriander, and earth could also be detected here and there. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized impressions of minerals, cream, butter, green wood, roasted almond, grass, and green bell pepper that were supported by delicate, fleeting notes of orange blossom, orange zest, earth, vanilla, unripened pear, green apple, orchid, lotus, and white grape.
This was a very aromatic and flavorful tea with tons of fruity characteristics. Normally, I love Dancong oolongs that are very fruity and/or very floral, but there were instances where this tea’s mix of aroma and flavor components struck me as being a bit over-the-top. Still, this was a very good tea. People who tend to flip over sweeter, fruitier teas would probably love it.
Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Butter, Candy, Cannabis, Cherry, Citrus, Coriander, Cream, Earth, Floral, Fruity, Grass, Green Bell Peppers, Green Wood, Honey, Mineral, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pine, Spinach, Stonefruits, Vanilla, White Grapes