Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Almond, Champagne, Creamy, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Red Wine, White Wine, Wood
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Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 6 oz / 177 ml

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From Hugo Tea Company

LIN’S DUCK is a dancong oolong from the Lin family in Chaozhou, Guangdong, China. This is our second production of ya shi xiang (colloquially known as “duck shit”) after our first was so warmly received. This year we decided to up the ante—older trees, higher elevation, lighter bake—by sourcing from our new friend Song Lin, a 3rd generation dancong producer in the heart of the Fenghuang (read: Phoenix) mountains, where warm, humid, and daily misty high mountain conditions nurture deep-rooted tea trees. Ya shi xiang, one of the most storied and valued productions among the dancong standards, is a serious art form among Chaozhou producers, requiring a precise hand through its semi-qing xiang (“light fragrance”) oxidation process. Not unlike this year’s da wu ye, light oxidation oolongs are fundamentally easier to get wrong, as the bruise must be tightly controlled and halted precisely (a job made more difficult by constant variations in post-wither moisture content)—and imperfect batches still sell at market. On the cupping table this lot sang to us with genuine high fragrance, a proper roast that accents the teas inherent fruit and florality, and that distinct body sensation unique to truly old / high mountain teas. It’s not quite lao cong (“old tree”), but it’s not xiao shu (“young tree”) either; a fine example of the effect tree age has on a finished tea.

To produce his spring ya shi xiang, Song’s family hand-harvests 2-3 half-matured leaves from each shoot (excepting the buds), withers the material in the sun (on a nice day) or indoors with fans, bruises to about 45% oxidation by rolling in cloth sacks (think bread kneading), and then bakes the the tea in two rounds: first at 95ºC for 10 hours, then at 105ºC for 8 hours. His 80 year old ya shi xiang trees grow at 800 meters, and it shows—this tea is layered with the fermented depth of teas grown under stress, atop all the usual fruit and flowers of duck shit. Reminiscent of a dry pét-nat.

Our recommendation for steeping duck shit (how about that sentence?) is always the same: use gongfu grammage (5-7g per 115 ml) with water well-off the boil (185ºF-190ºF) for sparkling body and tropical tree fruit; slightly longer for a drying mouthful of flowers. Do not—we repeat—do not boil this tea, unless you want dry mouth like never before and the 5-cups-of-coffee shakes.


(use freshly boiled spring water)

modern, large format
[300 ml+ vessel — BOLI, large teapot]

4 grams — 190°F (88°C) — 2 minutes

traditional, small format
[150 ml- vessel — gaiwan, small teapot]

5 grams — 200°F (93°C) — 15 seconds
(no rinse)
+15-20 seconds each additional steep

About Hugo Tea Company View company

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1 Tasting Note

1630 tasting notes

I liked this one a little bit more than the Big Leaf. Like most Yashi’s, it’s very smooth, floral, and creamy. Hugo got really fancy into their foodie-esque tasting notes drawing comparisons to Pet-Nat and Rambutan amidst a dry profile. It’s a dryer tea for sure and doesn’t lean into a honey taste like a lot of Dancongs, but it was very balanced. I personally got the rambutan clearly with florals and an almond “essence” like flavoring, and I get a rose dry wine profile in taste in color. There’s almost a blushy peach or pinkish hue to it.

This one didn’t last beyond five cups gong fu in 15, 30, 45, 60, 75 with 180 F before getting bitter. Earlier steeps lacked any astringency or bitterness, but later steeps got some with a rising woody profile.

I like this one and recommend it, though I’m not gaga over it. It’s balance does impress me highly, and I think people who are into Yashi’s or regular tea nerds would enjoy it.

Flavors: Almond, Champagne, Creamy, Drying, Floral, Fruity, Red Wine, White Wine, Wood

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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