雪大乌叶 · Snow Gardenia oolong · 2018
Da Wu Ye, translating to ‘big dark leaf’, is both the name of the finished tea as well as the cultivar it was based upon. Given that it is a winter harvest, it is prefixed by Xue 雪, or snow/ice. It is one of our favourites among the lightly roasted and lightly oxidised Dan Cong, single bush oolongs of Guangdong.
It presents an intense, simultaneously fruity-floral aroma and taste, with an almost viscous and creamy mouthfeel. The distinct orchid profile sustains through multiple infusions.
Phoenix Mountain, Chaozhou, Guangdong, China
Plucking: Spring 2018
Family: Mr. Song Lin
Cultivar: Da Wu Ye (hybridised Ya Shi Xiang)
Perched merely 600 metres above sea level, the leaf material is nevertheless extraordinary, yielded from dancong of the Phoenix Mountain range, famous for its old growth tea trees that possess a naturally rich orchid flavour and aroma. Careful and skilled processing, particularly to contain the oxidation, have resulted in outstanding floral freshness, a delectable green-gold liquor colour and beautiful twisted mature leaves.
Orchid, clotted cream, fresh cut stonefruit
As a very lightly oxidised oolong from a mature tea tree, the flavour is clear, intense and easy to coax. The liquor is thick to the taste with a delicious and rather distinct orchid-floral creaminess.
When brewing with gongfu cha style, a quick rinse of the leaves will relieve some of the initial bitterness from the taste. Not too hot water (a few minutes off boiling) water and very short infusions suited my taste. Up to eight infusions were delicious prepared in this way.
How to brew
Pair this tea with:
Dry-aged beef, pork medallion with thyme and rocket
Dairy-rich semisweet chocolate, lemon-scented pound cake
Roasted Jerusalem artichoke, beetroot and sweet potato salad
Candied pecan, walnut, Masala wine soaked raisins
Passionfruit, dried longan or barbequed mango cheek