Now that I have gotten through a tremendously stressful, busy day, I can finally sit down and blast my way through a few more tea reviews. I’m beginning to think that my goal of getting through my backlog of 2019 and 2020 reviews by or before the end of the year may be unattainable. It turns out I had considerably more of them than I thought. Now I’m just hoping to cut that number in half. I’m currently focusing on getting through the worst of the bunch, as I have a bunch of reviews for which I left very disorganized notes. This is one of them. I hope I can put together a coherent review here because I enjoyed this tea a great deal. It was a truly excellent offering overall.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 fluid ounces of 203 F water for 7 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, peach, nectarine, orange blossom, and cherry. After the rinse, I detected aromas of wood, cinnamon, baked bread, and cannabis. The first infusion finally introduced a sweet potato aroma. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of orchid, sweet potato, nectarine, baked bread, and roasted almond that were balanced by hints of cherry, grass, cannabis, cinnamon, wood, and peach. The majority of the subsequent infusions added aromas of honey, lychee, pineapple, orange zest, grass, grapefruit, and brown sugar. Stronger and more immediate flavors of grass, cherry, wood, and peach appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of cream, honey, minerals, pear, lychee, nutmeg, honeydew, orange zest, brown sugar, cucumber, and watermelon rind. I also found hints of pineapple, grapefruit, orange blossom, and vanilla. As the tea faded, the liquor continued to emphasize mineral, orchid, sweet potato, pear, cherry, lychee, orange zest, cream, roasted almond, and watermelon rind flavors that were chased by a swell of honey, vanilla, cucumber, peach, grass, pineapple, honeydew, baked bread, and brown sugar.
In all honesty, the Middle Mountain Song Zhong is one of Yunnan Sourcing’s Dancong oolongs that I tend to look forward to from year to year. They always seem to be exceptional offerings and reliably offer great bang for the buck. This spring 2018 production was certainly no exception. I especially appreciated the wonderful balance of fruity, floral, and vegetal aromas and flavors it displayed.
Flavors: Almond, Bread, Brown Sugar, Cannabis, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Fruity, Grapefruit, Grass, Honey, Honeydew, Lychee, Melon, Mineral, Nutmeg, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Sweet Potatoes, Vanilla, Wood