Origin: Yong Lung village, Dong Ding area
Harvested by hand in spring 2003.
Process: Hungshui Oolong aged by the farmer.
This is a very interesting aged Oolong, especially since it's from the same farmer and village as the 2 Hungshui Oolongs from Yong Lung I have shown here and here recently.
The first thing that strikes us is that these Oolongs leaves are less tightly rolled than new Oolongs. As it ages, the dry leaves slowly unfurl. The color is also slightly more red and dark.
The dry leaves smell of sweet, dark, old wood. It feels slightly intoxicating, like a light brandy. The young roast scents have disappeared.
For the simple reason that when the quality is good and the storage done right, it can taste heavenly and produce scents that can't be found in new Oolongs. Of course, everybody's tastes differ and I know several drinkers who don't like this kind of scents (yet). It's not as directly appealing as an unroasted High Mountain Oolong. But it has much more complexity and refinement, I believe. As the years pass by, I like these kinds of Oolongs more and more.
2003 wild raw Yiwu puerh and a case of a grand cru Bordeaux wine of 2003. But so far, I didn't have any 2003 Hungshui Oolong for him and me. I think it will be a very meaningful gift when he's 18 and/or for his wedding!
A top quality tea that ages well is a great way to mark a special occasion.
We find leaves of various stages of maturity. But even the biggest leaves aren't hard.