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! Check it out here if you're interested, but 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 reccomend 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!
This tea comes to us from the Guangdong province of China and it is one of the Dancong Oolongs from this region. I have had limited experience with these oolongs, but the ones I have had have been incredible! I was really excited to try this one out. The aroma from the fresh leaves was a beautifully rich, mineral and earthy scent. There is a hint of smokiness to it you might expect to find in a roasted oolong. Overall, the tea is very earthy and reminds me of fresh soil on a cold winter morning.
First steeping: Powerful aromatic fragrance, like fresh flowers. A breezy freshness in the first sip. Very mellow floral taste, not much of a full-bodied flavor and a slight bitterness. There is a little bit of an earthy mineral taste to it but not quite as strong as I would’ve imagined.
The wet leaves are starting to come alive after the first steeping. The aroma is actually even more powerful. The aroma is much sharper and clearer, and now there’s a tiny bit of fruitiness to it. I hope this will come out in the next few steepings!
The aroma from the second steeping is much more earthy. You are starting to lose some of the bright floral notes here but you can still detect them if you focus enough. The taste of this is actually a lot sweeter. There is a tiny bit of astringency that dances on the tongue towards the end. I get a sustained mouthwatering feeling for a few seconds after the steep. I still get the light breeziness that you might expect with a fresh mint leaf towards the end of the sip. Definitely sweeter and more mouthwatering than the last steeping.
I am loving the aroma from these wet leaves in between steepings. From this one, I am starting to get the scent of wet wood and earth, almost like hiking in a forest after it rains. This is so beautiful!
I’m starting to get a more bold, full-bodied flavor from the third steeping. This is really starting to take shape, and this could perhaps be my favorite so far. Here you get the mouthwatering astringency and the full-bodied flavor, which is quite nice. This one is the tea-drinker’s tea, so to speak. The others were beautiful, but this one tastes the most like a traditional tea. The flavor of this tea is nice and astringent and dances on the tongue.
The smell of the wet leaves before the 4th steeping is slightly subdued. It has the same smell of wet wood and earth as the last steeping, but it is not quite as strong.
This next steeping has a nice mineral flavor to it. It is quite delicious and I wouldn’t mind having more of it. These small and short steepings are very fun because it allows you to appreciate a ton of different flavors, but the only downside is that I would like to have a lot more of certain ones because they are so good!
The aroma from the wet leaves is starting to die down. I am losing the scent of the original leaves after the fourth steeping. It is starting to pick up a bit of a sour note, like you might expect to find in a red wine or something.
I decided that for the 5th steeping I would steep for slightly longer like 30 seconds. This one was beginning to lose the flavor. It tasted a lot like a weaker version of the 4th steeping, which I guess is exactly what it is. I feel like the tea isn’t developing any new flavors at this point, just losing old ones. There is still a rich mineral quality to this tea and a nice mouthwatering astringency. The tasting is quite pleasant and leaves a very nice aftertaste in my mouth.
The subsequent steeping continue to deliver. I have a hard time picking out subtle nuances in them, but they definitely taste like tea more than just hot water. I really enjoyed these, all the way up until about the 8th steeping, which really started to lose flavor. I really liked this method of brewing, and I hope you all did too! I have plenty more teas to review in the future so stay tuned!