Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Dahongpao

I need to stop waiting so long to post reviews. I saved this post after I tried the two teas, but then forgot about it.

This review is long overdue. Salsero sent me a 5g sample of this tea a while ago, but I put it off for quite a while because I wasn't sure how to steep it. Salsero, thanks for the sample, and thanks for being patient.

I'm still not sure how to brew it, but I think I have an idea of how to do it. I wanted to try it in yixing, but the slightly larger size might make a weak tea.

5g in a 10cl gaiwan. Rinse, 15s, 15s, 30s, 60s.

The aroma of the dry leaf was more fragrant than I expected. Ripe fruit, peach and some toastiness from the roasting. The rinse brought spice out in the aroma.

A small miracle happened while brewing. It came out surprisingly full flavored, and without any bitterness. Past experience with broken up leaves would say that it would be bitter even with short infusions, but that wasn't the case this time.

The taste of the tea was very similar to shuixian. I don't have much experience with dahongpao, but from the few I tried, I tend to expect it to be similar to dancong, which doesn't have a ripe fruit flavor. It was mostly a fruit, or ripe fruit flavor, and spice. It developed a light creaminess in the second infusion, but it was still very similar to the other infusions. The aftertaste left was interesting. Immediately, it was a sweet ripe fruit flavor that lingered for a while. A little while later, it became a light, but distinct peach flavor.

YSLLC dahongpao
This is probably the second Wuyi oolong I've tried, and the one that got me interested in wuyi oolongs. When I first got this one, I had two unmarked bags. One was a dancong, and one was a dahongpao. Trying this one, I was almost certain it was dancong, and the other heavily roasted one was the dancong.
8g in a 12cl pot. Rinse, 15s, 15s, 15s, 20s, 30s.
The aroma of the wet and dry leaf was of a certain kind of hot pepper (odd) and peach.
peach, roast, pepper, peachy aftertaste.
vanilla or cream.

Something about this brewing method didn't work. The tea just seemed "off." Maybe sour, maybe something else. I'm almost certain 8 grams was too much, but I also think the pot might be retaining heat too well for this tea. For some reason, this pot manages to keep the tea so much hotter than my other pots. So, I guess I'll see how this tea behaves in a cooler gaiwan. If it's the pot, then I guess I'll have to reseason it.

Out of the two, I think the one from Harney was much better than the one from Yunnan Sourcing. Although, I remember the one from YSLLC being so much better than it turned out this time.


Since I started this post, I've fallen into repetition, just enjoying old and familiar teas. I still have a lot of teas I need to try and post tasting notes for.

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