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.
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.
My name is Stéphane Erler. I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.