November 22, 2016
Sneak Peek - UNYtea Chou Shi
My first order with UNYtea contains my first fixing teapot, simple and small, and two dancong oolongs. I ordered the Mi Lan Xiang and Jeffrey kindly added a sample of another dancong, the Chou Shi. Dancong are strip style oolongs sourced from Guangdong Province. I don't know if either of the dancongs I now have are true phoenix teas. The Chou Shi is not yet available in the store and is a new to me tea. Chou Shi has brilliant emerald and deep forest green leaves.
Jeffrey said to prepare the Chou Shi like any other dancong oolong with suggested steeping times of 15s, 30s, 45s, 60s for the 4 gram sample. Honestly, I don't have much experience with dancong oolongs so I was glad for the suggested steep times. During the session, I adjusted infusion time and temperature down to reduce bitterness. The first, second, sixth, and seventh infusions were the most enjoyable. I tasted the floral and vegetal notes associated with a tieguanyin and Taiwanese gao shan oolongs. Thirty second infusions at a lower temperature which was the case for the sixth steep yielded a smooth, floral, sweet, vegetal liquor. At this point in the session, Jeffrey's description was spot on: "a cross between a TGY and a light Baozhong."
I steeped the leaves nine times but the eighth infusion was the last one with noticeable flavors and aromas. The tea had a drying effect on the front and back end with a bitter melon flavor. I have not eaten this fruit but I imagine the liquor from the eighth steep is what bitter melon tastes like. Also, the tea left my lips feeling silky which is a nice benefit on a blustery day like today.
For the dancong aficionados out there, have you drunk Chou Shi?
P.S. My infusion time and temperature were: 15s/195F x2, 30s/195F, 30s/185F, 45s/185F, 30s/185F x3, 30s/195F.