Saturday, April 01, 2006

Da Yu Ling 2005 Fall Harvest

2005 November Harvest. Da Yu Ling Oolong, 2200 meters, lightly roasted.
A generous gift from Stephane over in Taipei.

The production of Da Yu Ling is so limited, even local Taiwanese might not have a chance to purchase it. This is considered one of the most sought after among Taiwan's Oolong lovers.

We used a 6 oz gaiwan / 8g of tea (We have 6 people to share). Over at T-Gallery.

Dry Leaves:
Medium size pallet, 2 leaves and a bud rolled with thinner* stem sticking out.
*Usually the high mountain oolong has thicker stem and larger pallet size.

Wet Leaves:
Lively richness of greens. Gentle sweet roasted aroma. Mild nectar and floral.

Liquor color:
Clear, pale olive green and light yellow

Brewing steps:
Instant rinse (fish eye) 212F sit covered 15s
Following constant crab eyes temp. for every infusion.

INF1: 10s
Mild floral and hint of toast, balance, with no bitterness/sharpness. Smooth and full body mouth feel. Leaves are not awaken yet.

INF2: 10s
More floral and nectar. High mountain aromas a hint of dry sea weed, is this interpreted as terroirs aromas? Different layers of characters.

INF3: 15s
Still mild and full rounded body. Terroirs aromas intensify. Giving me a different aroma than the previous. Floral and honey aroma, sweet drying taste with hint of caramel and caraway seed finish.

INF4: 10s
We shorten the time to accommodate the unusual amount of tea to water ratio in this brew.

This is like a fine Bordeaux, not intruding, mellow but full. So far every brew gives a new dimensions. My mouth is drying rapidly, intensifying the aftertaste in a dry, brut way. It did not quench thirst like the comparing spring 05 DYL with an unknown elevation, which we brewed up in the meantime. Instead of "moisturize the throat", it "dries up the throat".

INF5: 20s
Full body and brut, smooth to the throat and drying afterwards. Hint of caraway still exists, followed by clean / light floral, very sweet finish. I am enjoying the mouth feel more then anything, round and coating.

Not tired/bored by the experience, which so often happens to me. Tasting unknown teas with robust flavor troubles me. With anticipation of surprising notes, I try to look for different layers, which most of the time the tea does not deliver! But sometimes one of this fine tea comes along and hits me with joy and satisfactory. The hope of enjoying tea reinstated.

INF6: 30s
Much, much more brews to deliver, not enough time to enjoy.... This tea can at least brew for another 10 plus servings. Nectar and refreshing clean floral still flourish, fruits of different peaches appeared.

Overall this is a gem of Taiwanese High Mountain Oolong. Complex flavor unfolded by every infusions, layer by layer like a good novel.
I am very pleased with the elegant, consistent mellow presentation, without overpowering the pallet in the first few brews and dying down like most of the others. A very scholastic, mandarin's tea. Must have at least 2 hours to savor. I can not imagine and wait to try the differences between the 2650 meters one!

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