Dà Yǔ Lǐng Oolong
The dry leaves are uniformly small and have a color that reminds us of evergreen trees; dark to light green hues with touches of earthy brown. Dry leaf aroma is lightly floral with a hint of sweet mung bean paste.
After the inspection of the dry leaves, we start by placing the leaves into a preheated gaiwan. Once placed into the gaiwan, the leaves give off a strong buttery aroma with an intense white sugar sweetness.
Once brewed, the leaves become even more fragrant. They have a unique forest aroma that is only found in very high mountain teas. Strong notes of white sugar, vegetal (sweet high mountain cabbage（高麗菜）), orchids, and warm butter. The tea tastes incredibly sweet and buttery. In fact, drinking this tea gives your mouth a distinct buttery sensation that coats your entire mouth. Strong floral and vegetal (high mountain cabbage and mung bean paste) notes are also present. After five second, the aftertaste kicks in. The aftertaste is almost more intense than the initial taste of this tea and has a strong distinct “returning sweetness” （huigan / 回甘）.
The second-round smells sweetly vegetal, flowery, and “misty” in the way only high mountain tea does. This misty flavor is hard to describe; it’s similar to petrichor, but with more depth. The buttery notes from the previous round are all but gone. Instead, the distinct vegetal notes have become more dominant. The floral note from the previous round has transformed into a deeper, more complex orchid flavor. The aftertaste is buttery and even more intense than the first round. The huigan reminds me of drinking water that has been infused with flowers.
The third-round leaves smell less vegetal but are sweeter than the previous round; the sweetness is that of flowers and orchids. This round has very deep flavor. It’s like swallowing a high mountain forest. There is that distinct flavor that can only be described as mist-soaked air, lichen, and evergreen trees. The vegetal from previous round is still present, but it’s now dwarfed by an intense orchid sweetness. This sweetness continues to grow on the aftertaste till it reaches a truly staggering level. The aftertaste is so sweet that my mouth starts to produce saliva.
The fourth round continues to show off the high mountain characteristics of this tea. The vegetal note has made a comeback. Now it tastes almost exactly like sweet high mountain cabbage. There is also a distinct flavor of hard boiled eggs. Underneath these notes is the ever present, intense floral sweetness. At this point, the huigan is almost too intense.
Once you finish your session with this tea, you must try touching the brewed leaves. The brewed leaves are incredibly tender and thin; they fall apart at all but the gentlest touch.