I've recently made some Zhuni Yixing teapot purchases, and I think my research has paid off and I got some good ones. A couple from Stephane Erler of Teamasters, and another from our very own Ambrose.
I plan to dedicate these to specific types of Oolongs. One will be for Li Shan, the other for Yushan, and so forth.
Stephane sent me a lovely sample of "wild concubine" Oolong. I was expecting a typical roasted oolong, from the aroma alone. I'm not a big fan of any roasted Oolongs I've tried thus far. Rather, I'm much more partial to the lighter even honey-like notes of Gao Shans (including Yushan.)http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2011/01/ ... -from.html http://teamasters.blogspot.com/2007/02/ ... eauty.html
(this is *not* OB, so look near the bottom of the webpage for details)This summer Dong Ding Oolong finds its inspiration in Oriental Beauty: the farmer hasn't used any pesticides on purpose. He wants the criquets to get a bite of the leaves and then oxidize them more strongly than he usually does with his traditional Dong Ding Oolong. But it's not an imitation of Oriental Beauty, because the leaves are still fist rolled as is tradition in the Dong Ding area. That's why he could give this tea a new name, Concubine tea. And that's why I find it interesting, because it doesn't try to imitate Oriental Beauty (and imitations are almost always very inferior to the original in the tea world, as this study and my experience have shown). Instead, he created a new tea with its special character: a highly oxidized, insect bitten, summer Dong Ding Oolong that is better than a traditional summer Dong Ding Oolong.
Boy, was I in for a surprise. I gave it a test drive in my newest Zhuni pot - it's quite small and I wondered what the results would be like, but I couldn't resist.
The pre-warmed pot was ready, I had wet the inside and dumped in a bunch of the rolled leaves, letting the pot warm even further. I'm quite mindful of the fact that these pots don't like sudden temp changes.
I lifted the lid and . . . chocolate. A chocolatey, slightly floral, but very "thick" and sweet aroma. It was unlike anything I had ever smelled before. Yes, chocolate.
This is not a typical roasted oolong, at least not in my small experience. The roasted base notes are there, certainly, but the floral, honey-like qualities are much more than what I expected. The tea performs a bit like a Li Shan but with more roasting, including a honey-like aftertaste that reminds me a bit of Yu Shan. Infusion after infusion the tea kept surprising me. And it actually tasted and smelled better than when I tried it in a gaiwan after. I was quite surprised.
So I might as well dedicate this pot to "wild concubine." It seem this roasted Oolong is not heavily roasted at all - perhaps something between roasted and High Mountain Oolongs.
What are some other "mid-elevation" Oolongs like wild concubine? Perhaps I should use the term "lightly roasted." I'm not really well-versed in oolong classification yet.
Thanks for reading,