Tea: Aofuhou Dancong (凹富后）
Type: Aged Dancong Oolong
Harvest: Spring 2011
Region: Zhuliu Village, Chaozhou, Guangdong, China
Producers: Master Wei
Tasting Notes: caramel, rock sugar (jolly rancher), honeyed tobacco, osmanthus
This is an interesting tea sent to us by our Master Wei. Unlike the previous aged dancong oolongs we have offered, the quality of this base material is far superior. Made by Wei a decade ago and aged in his Wudong mountain warehouse, this tea demonstrates what a high-quality dancong tastes like once it truly becomes 'aged tea'.
In our exploration of aged teas, we have had a few very old teas from Lin at the base of the mountain range (1980's 1990's), and a few younger ones from Wei up in the slopes (2016 baxian). While the very aged dancong's exhibit evidence of poor storage and have a lot of damp notes to them, the more recently aged dancongs seem very slow to mature. While a lot of producers will mellow out their nice teas for a few years, to get a tea over 10 is still a rare discovery for these high-mountain makers. While the 2016 dancong tastes lovely, mellow, and relaxed, the 10 year dancong stands just on the other side of the 'aged tea' threshhold. While the floral and fruity notes are still present on the nose, things take a turn once the session begins.
This tea serves as an interesting counterpoint to the 2009 Shuixian from the Wuyi mountain range, as Dancong oolongs are notoriously more fragrance-foreward, we get a lot of complex aromas on the warm leaves with that lingering backbone of aged oolong aroma lingering somewhere in the depths of the gaiwan.
This tea is surprisingly sweet, as the leaves open up we get hit with fruit and berry aromas mixed with an earthiness that reminds us of sugar soaked hookah tobacco (shisha). The taste on the tongue however shows off the age, for instead of showing bitter edges, time has worn this one soft and earthy. There is a heaviness on the tongue we don't usually see in younger dancong oolongs, this leads to a very quick and powerful huigan.