Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Winter Da Yu Ling 2012

Due to the cold climate of high mountains, Da Yu Ling is harvested last in spring, but first in winter. And this year, the cold season has arrived even earlier than usual!
2 weeks ago, I tested it with porcelain (article in French). Today, I'm enjoying it in a zhuni teapot!

Cultivar: Luanze (qingxin) Oolong.
Harvested by hand on September 14, 2012.
Origin: Da Yu Ling, Taiwan
Elevation: 2300 meters high.

Process: unroasted high mountain Oolong.

The fresh fragrances of the dry leaves have  sweet grass and flowers notes. Alpine air!

While the leaves are brewing, I empty the cups with both hands. One cup at a time. Slowly. Using two hands to hold one small cup may seem strange. One of the first things visitors to China and Taiwan learn is that it's polite to use both hands to give/receive a name card. Using only one hand is seen as too casual.
When you use both hands, you are showing respect. What you hold seems more fragile and precious, but at the same time it also looks well protected. This avoids the stress of seeing someone handle teaware with little care and wondering if or when an accident will happen.
As for your body, when you hold a cup with both hands, your reach is shortened, but you feel more balanced and centered. And the slow movements help the mind to calm down and focus on the tea experience.
The brew of Da Yu Ling is particularly light. It has a yellow color with hints of green and is perfectly transparent. It is like the winter sun, shining its freshness in the dark days.
This is the feeling I try to convey with this Cha Xi: a dark winter, a big white cypress tree (the brazier) like in the high mountains, and then the freshness of green nature that shines thanks to the tea we brew.

The taste of winter high mountain Oolong is particularly sweet. But Da Yu Ling's flowery fragrances also linger with intensity and finesse. What a joy!

The Da Yu Ling Oolongs are a class of their own. This batch is a very good example of the characteristics of this high tea mountain. Its taste is so light, pure and harmonious, but at the same time it has so much power! The belly feels warm and this heat reaches hands and feet! The finish is long and evanescent. The delicate sweetness coats the mouth with a minty feeling on the tongue.

High Mountain Perfection!

More brews follow... and more... and more...
The pleasure remains.
Cristal clear.
The brews just turns slightly more yellow and the taste slightly stronger. But it's amazing how pure it still tastes.

The open leaves open up very large and thick. It's hard to believe they could have been rolled so small in the first place!

The buds show signs of having been eaten by some insect. The leaves feel soft and strong.

The aftertaste lingers on. It's a little bit like light static electricity in the mouth and on the tongue. It keeps on vibrating at a high pace. Or, you could also say that it's like very fine Champagne bubbles!

Combine this delicate electricity with recurring sweet aftertastes and a fresh, flowery fragrance and you have the Da Yu Ling Oolong experience brought by a top grade Yixing zhuni teapot.
It feels like morning in Da Yu Ling:


Maxwell2079 said...

Hi Stephane!

Shiny Zhuni! Will you be selling that one?

I tried this Da Yu ling and really liked. Haven't tried many though. Only 2 with this one. The other was from an vendor located in the west.
I found yours much better.
I will try it again to give you a more thorough review. Since when I tried it wasn't in the most favourable conditions.

Take care.

TeaMasters said...

Hi M,
I will try to propose some similar zhuni in the future. That one I'm using with too much pleasure to sell!

As for the Da Yu Ling, you received the spring 2012 version. (Here I'm describing the winter version). But I find it very interesting that you would find mine much better than the competition. Since this is one of the top tea mountain in Taiwan, the whole point in tasting Da Yu Ling is to get the very best high mountain Oolong.

Maxwell2079 said...

You are right. I got the spring one. My mistake. Would be interesting to compare it with the winter version!


TeaMasters said...

Yes, when you have the same tea from 2 different seasons, then it's really easy to spot the characteristics of each season.