Sunday, October 11, 2015

Dachi Tea: No 6 Golden Lily Oolong, A Tea Review

I think I know the next thing I am going to treat myself to when I have a bit of money...drum roll...a lap desk! As much as I love working at my desk, sometimes I really want to just stretch out with a mound of pillows at my back, doing that now actually. My current setup of using a book as a table on my thighs and my Minecraft spider plushie as an armrest is not the most optimal of setups. But I am of course very picky, I want a lap desk with feet rather than putting my legs to sleep, and there can't be a lip to push down on my already screwy arm tendons...oh yeah, and I need room for my mouse and my inevitable tea, and in a perfect world there would be a small lamp. I am having fun window shopping!

Today we are taking a look at Dachi Tea's No 6 Golden Lily Oolong, a green Oolong from Taiwan, made from the Jin Xuan Varietal. Ah Jin Xuan, whose name translates to Golden Daylily (name drop!) and also goes by #12 or Milk Oolong, you are one of my favorites, I turn to you when I want flowery sweetness unlike any other. This particular tea was grown at 1200m on Alishan, though not all Jin Xuan is from Alishan and not all Alishan Oolong is Jin Xuan, of course even the ones that are from the same mountain and cultivar can have different roastings, growers, elevations, they have similar traits but each one will be subtly different in some way. It is like a mouth adventure. But first I suppose is the nose adventure, The aroma of the very tightly coiled leaves is at first quite creamy, then gentle notes of toasted sesame blended with the ever so slightly spicy note of Asiatic lily drift out of the leaves. Lastly the notes are honeysuckles, fresh milk, and a tiny touch of snap peas at the very finish.

The leaves made their journey to the Xishi pot for their steeping, only gently opening up after their first steep, but the aroma is certainly not some wilting flower. Ok it is floral, but it is not a weak aroma, Notes of warm milk, toasted sesame seeds, honeysuckles, snap peas, and spicy Asiatic lilies waft out of my teapot, my nose is happy, creamy teas just make me happy. The liquid from this first steep is quite sweet and floral, notes of honeysuckle, lilies (the spicy kind) sesame seeds, and a touch of sweet peas greet my nose. It smells less creamy than I was expecting.

For all that the aroma was not very creamy, the taste certainly is! The texture starts out creamy and the tasting starts creamy, like that relaxing note of warm sweet cream and sugarcane. It then moves to a nice flowery burst of sweet honeysuckles and spicy lilies. The spice from the lilies is very similar to what I describe as spicebush, but instead of it being a more musk spice it is a floral spice. Yes, I like to surround myself with spicy flowers, dianthus is also a favorite. Anyway, after the flowery burst the finish is a touch of gentle honey and very distant sweet peas, a lingering aftertaste of honey, well, lingers!

Second steeping time brings the creamy! The aroma of the liquid this time is definitely milky and sweet, with honeysuckles and sweet peas, sesame seeds and a gentle touch of lilies, it has a headiness to it reminding me of summer flowers. The taste and texture both start out creamy again, like sweet cream and sugarcane, then it moves ti sesame seeds and spicy lilies and a touch of honeysuckle. The finish has a crisp snap pea note with a crispness that lingers in both mouthfeel and taste.

The third steep's aroma is sweet and creamy, with notes of milk and honeysuckles, a gentle touch of lily and a strong note of sweet snap peas, adding an extra crisp greenness to the sweetness. The texture is still creamy, but it turns crisp yet smooth around the middle of the sipping, right around the same time the taste turns from sweet and creamy to sweet and snap pea crisp. Usually when green Oolongs take on a green note, it is more crushed vegetation, so this snap pea note is quite fun, and it goes really well with the overall sweetness of this tea.

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