Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Winter 2008 Da Yu Ling Oolong

Tea: low oxidation Luanze (qingxin) Oolong
Harvested by hand on November 5, 2008
Origin: Da Yu Ling (2400 meters elevation)

Test brewing parameters: 3 grams, 6 minutes, just boiled mineral water, white porcelain competition set.
Visual enhancements: a winter quilt (my mother gave it to me during her visit to Taiwan last week), Michel's white jar, David's Earth and Fire bowl, orchids.
The dry leaves are rolled in big pellets. The open leaves shows that some were damaged, bitten by insects, I believe. (But these bites are so big that they don't come from the same small green insects that bite Oriental Beauty leaves). Is this a problem? No. It shows that the leaves grew quite naturally and that insects also thought this tea was yummy!
The brew is very transparent, shiny and has a nice green-yellow color.

The smells are also clear, fresh, pure. The characteristic fragrance of cool flowers, the essence of Da Yu Ling is there.

Taste: light beginning. After a soft feeling comes a typical winter dry feeling that turns mellow and a long, very long aftertaste. I feel very few weaknesses despite the tough brewing parameters.

Despite being light, this Oolong has an amazing concentration. It is possible to brew it several times with excellent results. Some teas seem exhausted after a 6 minutes infusion, but top altitude Oolongs have endured such difficult weather that they release their flavors very slowly. This is also why they are easier to brew than low elevation Oolongs: ten seconds more or less won't make a difference. Long brews might actually even taste deeper and better (provided you didn't use too many leaves).

Da Yu Ling Oolong me gives the feeling of standing on top of mountain, breathing pure fresh air. It's a good reason to be glad winter is coming! Xmas is in the air. Pine trees made of Da Yu Ling Oolong leaves are appearing!


~ # JaZzzMin3 # ~ said...

Hi, it is indeed really glad to view your blog. You're such a passionate tea enthusiast. I love the way you took all the teapot pictures. It is so artistic!!!

I used to took some of it but not many. Those are my "toys" when I was in Malaysia.

TeaMasters said...

Thanks for your kind comment.

Anonymous said...


good to hear from you again...one
week without "teamasters" feels
like ages :)...

Anonymous said...

Depuis le temps que j'attends ca ;)

Unknown said...

Hi Stephane -
You mention 'provided you didn't use too many leaves' for not getting more flavor from longer brews. Does that have to do with not having room for the leaves to unfurl?

TeaMasters said...

Yes, part of the reason is so that the leaves unfurl better. The other part is that with many leaves and long brews, you would get too much a brew that is too concentrated, too strong.

jay said...

Stephane, I have been really enjoying this tea since I ordered it from you. Today was the first "warm" winter day in Vermont in months, and I was able to have a cup outside and daydream of spring :)

Thank you for sharing such wonderful teas and thoughtful words with all of us; it is very much appreciated.