I wanted to start by thanking Yunwei tea for the opportunity to try all of these
amazing teas! They offer a tea "flight" which is a box of 7 of their best teas you can try all at once.
The tea flight only costs $20 and is a very good deal considering you can try 7 of the best teas from China in one shot! Make sure you know how to brew before trying them out though!
In this review, we are going to do things a little bit differently. I am attempting to brew the tea "gongfu style" which means lots of leaves, very little water and very short steep times. I will try to get at least 5 brewings out of each of these teas, but I may stop if I can no longer get flavor out of the tea. the first 3 steepings will be about 10 seconds and then I will add 5 seconds there on out. This is a very fun way to brew tea, and if you haven't tried it yet I would really recommend it. It lets you appreciate each layer of the tea at a time, instead of all at once. This is a good way to pick up on all the subtle complexities of the tea, and have a truly enriching tea tasting experience. Anyways, let's get started!
The smell of the dry leaves was very similar to that of the last yancha tea I tasted. Once I soaked the tea leaves in water, they began to smell exactly like coffee grounds.
If I remember correctly, this tea is a little bit smoother than the Meizhan Yancha. The Meizhan was quite strong and I think it would be quite challenging for most people that aren’t super into roasted Chinese oolongs. This one is a bit different. The smokiness and mineral flavor is there, it is just easier to ignore if you’re not a fan of it. The other one was a bit more crisp and sharp in its flavor, but this one is creamier and a bit smoother, at least after the first steeping.
I am still getting a bit of the campfire smell from the wet leaves. This was present in the last tea. It’s a combination of burnt wood and hot stone. It is beautiful in its own right, but I would imagine some people don’t enjoy it as much.
The smokiness is beginning to disappear in the second steeping. There is still a very nice full-bodied flavor to the tea, with a tiny bit of astringency. The bitterness is very deep but brisk. The flavor comes in very quickly and leaves very quickly, leaving behind a subtle astringency that hang on for a few seconds.
The wet leaves after the second steeping smell a tiny bit like chocolate. This aroma is almost completely masked by the smokiness, but the scent is still there if you look around for it.
The third steeping has a very nice full body too it but not any astringency. I have described some of the teas in the past as having a “coffee” flavor to it, this one is perhaps the most prevalent. I find it takes on the coffee flavor during the middle of the tasting and it hangs on for a bit afterwards. If you are trying to ditch coffee, this is a great option. It tastes more like coffee than any tea I have had in the past.
The smell from the wet tea leaves is beginning to fade a little bit, but I find there is a faint fruitiness to it that I didn’t smell in the other leaves. There is perhaps a note of sour grapes mixed with wet wood. It’s a very nice, subtle flavor.
The fourth steeping was similar to the third steeping but a little bit different. Instead of a rich deep coffee flavor, it was more brisk and fleeting. It is still quite enjoyable, some may even consider it to be better. There is the gentlest hint of an earthy mineral flavor here, but it is very faint and easy not to notice. The smokiness of this tea is almost always present but it is a background noise rather than the main focal point.
The smell of the wet leaves is pretty similar to what it was with the last steeping although I am beginning to pick up on more of the smokiness this time. The rest of the aromas fade into the background a bit but the smokiness is as sharp and as clear as ever.
The fifth steeping was very crisp and mild. It was quite enjoyable, but definitely not nearly as powerful as the previous steepings. I find this is a really nice tea to just sip and enjoy while I am working. With very low caffeine leftover after all these steepings, it makes for a nice tea to sip well into the evening.
I didn’t think that this would happen, but I believe I inadvertenly saved the best tea for last. This tea is amazing and it is a lot smoother than the last tea I tried. I found that although the last yancha wulong was quite good, you really had to be in the mood for it because it is so bold and strong. This one I feel like I could just pick up and sip at any given time and for that reason I think it ranks higher on my list. Final rankings are as follows:
#1 Gold Peony Yancha Wulong Tea
#2 Meizhan Yancha Wulong Tea
#3 Almond Aroma Dancong Oolong
#4 Peach Kernel Aroma Dancong Oolong
#5 Zhengshan Chigan Red Tea
#6 Unroasted Peach Kernel Dancong
#7 Mengsong Gushu Sheng Puerh
Thank you guys so much for reading this review! I have finally finished all the teas from Yunwei tea and I loved every single one of them! I would highly recommend any of these teas, particularly the Yancha Oolongs if you are into darker teas. I’ll be reviewing many more teas from different companies in the coming weeks so stay tuned!