Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby javi_sanchez » Dec 9th, '12, 21:50

About 3 weeks ago I received some da yu ling from Floating Leaves. When I first tried it I didn't seem to get very much flavor. The packet has since been stored in the packet it came with as well as inside a sandwich bag.

I can't seem to get any flavor out of the leaves no matter how hard I try. I tried again today and still nothing. I tend to drink more oxidized/roasted oolongs. Is the flavor of da yu ling that subtle? I've had other high mountain oolongs as well as other oolongs from Floating Leaves.

I used 9g of tea in a 150ml gaiwan. The gaiwan was not filled all the way with water. I did a rinse with boiling water. Then a few infusions for 20, 40 second steepings. I then tried a few 5 minute infusions with boiling water.

Here is the gaiwan(from Redblossom if it matters):
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Here are the leaves with a coin shown for scale. They are quite nice!
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I previously drank some of Mountain Tea's medium roast dong ding and after the failed da yu ling I had some medium roast Anxi from Yunnan Sourcing. Is this oolong really more subtle than these?

Am I doing something wrong? For you germaphobes, I am fully aware of the kinds of things crawling on coins and bills. My hands and the plate were very thoroughly washed after touching the coin :mrgreen:
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby Tead Off » Dec 10th, '12, 03:07

Very difficult to say why you don't get much flavor out of the DYL. The way you brew it seems fine. Perhaps you are looking for something out of it that is not there in the flavor. If you are used to roasted teas, the DYL will definitely seem subtle. But, as someone who drinks DYL fairly regularly, I have no trouble getting delicious flavor out of the ones I have.

There is the possibility that the tea might be old and lost its character but many people say Floating Leaves has good quality tea from Taiwan.
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby Ambrose » Dec 10th, '12, 05:24

I've ordered 450 grams of her 2012 spring dayuling and it's the best in her current lineup for high mountain tea in my opinion. I havent had any issues getting delicious flavor from it. Dayuling is very pure in flavor, sweet, thick and can be a little more subtle. I do like my HMT strong I use something like 1/3 full of leaf, 1min 30sec or so for first brew no rinse, same for the second infusion, and 2-3 min for my final. I like to get everything good out of the tea in these 3 brews. I go for the 4th but its usually a ghost of what was. Sometimes I use shorter steeps with a bit more leaf just depends on what I feel. I dont really time or measure so this is more or less :)
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby javi_sanchez » Dec 10th, '12, 09:54

I think I will try longer steeps this evening! I've had teas from Floating Leaves before and have been very impressed.
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby Chip » Dec 10th, '12, 10:39

Perhaps it is your actual water that is creating problems for you ....
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby ethan » Dec 10th, '12, 10:47

Chip's comment makes sense, if the other teas were also off.

I suggest that you contact Floating Leaves Tea. She will get back to you by e-mail & sometimes just picks up her phone. She's generous w/ her advice etc.
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby gasninja » Dec 11th, '12, 11:13

Chip wrote:Perhaps it is your actual water that is creating problems for you ....

That's the first thing I thought.

Water that will brew a nice cup of high fired oolong might be to heavy for a da yu ling.
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby Tead Off » Dec 12th, '12, 00:47

javi_sanchez wrote:I think I will try longer steeps this evening! I've had teas from Floating Leaves before and have been very impressed.

I've never had to lengthen my brewing times to get a good flavor from the tea. The suggestion about the water is a good one. Try brewing with Volvic to see if there is a difference. It should be available to you and it will be a good test for you to do.
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby javi_sanchez » Dec 12th, '12, 03:38

Shiuwen responded with a good suggestion. Try 3g, pour boiling water on it and taste the tea as it develops. It was pretty cool tasting the tea as it changes but still I'm not getting the amount of flavor I got from other high mountain oolongs I've had. However these leaves are still the biggest best looking leaves I've seen to date. I don't know why that matters to me but it impresses me very much.

I will definitely try Tead Off's suggestion and find some "Volvic" water. I have a few other 高山 tea that I will taste "head to head" this weekend.

Jerking around with all these parameters is quite fun! I think my palette needs a bit more refinement before I can fully enjoy this class of tea.
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby Tead Off » Dec 12th, '12, 21:54

javi_sanchez wrote:Shiuwen responded with a good suggestion. Try 3g, pour boiling water on it and taste the tea as it develops. It was pretty cool tasting the tea as it changes but still I'm not getting the amount of flavor I got from other high mountain oolongs I've had. However these leaves are still the biggest best looking leaves I've seen to date. I don't know why that matters to me but it impresses me very much.

I will definitely try Tead Off's suggestion and find some "Volvic" water. I have a few other 高山 tea that I will taste "head to head" this weekend.

Jerking around with all these parameters is quite fun! I think my palette needs a bit more refinement before I can fully enjoy this class of tea.

Try buying DYL from another vendor to compare. This will also help your learning curve with this tea. Yes, the leaves are beautiful but if you're not getting any enjoyment from the flavor, what's the use? Reminds me of a dancong tea I bought that had gorgeous long whole leaves but no taste.

BTW, I always take gaoshan out of the bag it comes in and put them in tea caddys. I notice that the aroma and taste increase for me. Don't know why but it is always like that for me.
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby teaisme » Dec 13th, '12, 03:55

did you try with a different water yet? A standard spring water from nestle (deer park, poland spring, ice mountain, arrowhead etc) will work. If you aren't close to that, standard aquafina and dasani will also work to give you a good comparison. Any of these suggestions will make your tea shine a lot more then a muting water, which is what yours sounds like.

9g dyl in 150ml should be more then sufficient in flavour with the right water and setup. I have a suspicion that you haven't gotten the most out of those roasted oolongs yet either. I have muted water at my house, and there is muted water at a teashop I drop into every once in a while. Nothing tastes right, but roasts do at least often show up. It's just that the basic roasted flavour has overpowered the waters muting effects to be noticeable enough to begin to consider liking.

Hope you find that sweet spot :D
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby javi_sanchez » Dec 16th, '12, 16:34

I was not able to find "Volvic" and instead used something called "New Zealand Artesian Water" from a store called "Trade Joe's". They are a popular chain in the US.

It actually made a difference! I wouldn't say it was a huge night and day, however the tea had much more "creaminess" and "stickiness" to it. I don't know the correct word but the tea stuck to my mouth and lingered for much longer afterwards. Is this what people mean when they say "mouthfeel"? I also really like this quality in wines.

I think I will give Taiwanese Gaoshan oolong a break and focus on my current love: wuyi rock teas!
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby Chip » Dec 16th, '12, 21:43

I am experimenting with purified water that then has added minerals for "improved taste." All have been an improvement over my old method of using a filter pitcher for our well water ... which tastes good on its own but is apparently not so good for brewing. All the purified waters seem to have an edge over most simply bottled spring water as well.

Aquafina may have an edge so far ... but dang it ... I only see it in the small single serve bottles.

Buying bottled water for daily use generally goes against my "religion" :twisted: due to cost as well as environmental concerns (though I recycle, but still ... ) ... And buying cases of the small bottles really irks me. However the results are undenyable.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way to say, give purified water with added minerals a try. :idea:
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby javi_sanchez » Dec 16th, '12, 23:07

Oh thanks I can get Aquafina pretty readily around here, obviously in small bottles as well. This is fine for just experimenting. I am all out of my Floating Leaves DaYuLing but I do have some of their LiShan as wella s some from HouDe so I might just enjoy those for the rest of the month.

Does your well water go through a reverse osmosis process? Does that process add a bit of sodium to the water? Are you able to remove all the sodium afterwards? Does it affect the tea?
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Re: Floating Leaves's Da Yu Ling

Postby Chip » Dec 16th, '12, 23:59

No, it is a GraviTea from Adagio ... similar to a Brita pitcher.
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