Here is yet another review of a Dancong oolong that I finished in either late 2020 or early 2021. This was actually the sipdown immediately after the Ta Ku Hou Village High Mountain Dan Cong that I just reviewed. Prior to trying this tea, I had never tried a Hong Di before. I enjoyed this one a great deal, but I found it to be a bit intense. There were times when I did not quite know what to make of it.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a 10 second 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, 7 minutes, and 10 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of orchid, peach, cinnamon, cherry, and plum. After the rinse, I detected fresh aromas of roasted almond, roasted peanut, pear, tangerine, sugarcane, and grass. The first infusion introduced aromas of cream, vanilla, apple, and lychee. In the mouth, the liquor expressed notes of orchid, peach, roasted almond, cherry, grass, and tangerine that were chased by hints of roasted peanut, green wood, apple, sugarcane, lychee, cream, and pear. The bulk of the subsequent infusions added aromas of rose, violet, butter, hibiscus, rock sugar, and white grape to the tea’s bouquet. Stronger and more immediately detectable notes of green wood, lychee, cream, pear, apple, and sugarcane appeared in the mouth alongside mineral, rose, violet, butter, spinach, hibiscus, orange zest, white grape, watermelon rind, honey, and rock sugar impressions. Hints of cinnamon, vanilla, plum, earth, caraway, and wintergreen were present too. As the tea faded, the liquor emphasized notes of minerals, pear, green wood, roasted almond, orange zest, grass, white grape, apple, and watermelon rind that were balanced by lingering hints of sugarcane, cherry, violet, rose, lychee, butter, tangerine, and plum.
As mentioned earlier, this was very good tea, but it was also somewhat intense. It had a very powerful presence and a good deal of depth and complexity. I liked that this tea’s Rou Gui parentage was not totally lost. It was fairly easy for me to pick out the woody and cinnamon spice qualities so typical of Rou Gui. Overall, this was a satisfying tea. It could have been a little less bombastic and a little more balanced, but it was most certainly worth a try.
Flavors: Almond, Apple, Butter, Cherry, Cinnamon, Cream, Earth, Grass, Green Wood, Herbaceous, Hibiscus, Honey, Lychee, Mineral, Orange Zest, Orchid, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Plum, Rose, Spinach, Sugar, Sugarcane, Tangerine, Vanilla, Violet, Watermelon, White Grapes