Tea From Taiwan’s DaYuLing October 2014

Origin: Da Yu Ling Area, Li Shan, Taichung County, Taiwan
Harvest: October 2014
Cultivar: Chin Shin
Elevation: 2600m

I decided to try Tea From Taiwan’s DaYuLing, before I go on I must admit I bought the DaYuLing/HuaGang sample that was on sale for $8 the normal price is $10.70 (at the time of writing this). Let that sink in a two seven grams samples, one of which is DaYuLing for $8. I am not going to play coy and wait to the end of this post to tell you go buy this now. Tea From Taiwan describes this as:

Da Yu Ling oolong tea (wu-long tea) is a premium-grade oolong tea from the Da Yu Ling area of Taiwan's Taichung county. Its high altitude (more than 2600 meters) makes this one of the highest tea plantations in the world.
Da Yu Ling has a wonderful fragrance and taste. It is a lightly oxidized oolong tea with a refreshing palate that is sought after by the most demanding tea connoisseurs. Da Yu Ling is produced in limited quantities and is one of the most prized teas of Taiwan.
Da Yu Ling is located on Mount Li (Li Shan or Pear Mountain). The high elevation of this area causes the tea leaves to grow slowly and develop their smooth, rich flavor. To fully appreciate this fine oolong tea, it is recommended to brew it gong fu style.

Dry Leaves: The leaves are very green and there is a strong minerally aroma to the leaves, there is a bit of floral notes to them, but very minor ones.

First Steeping
Temperature: 190oF
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Floral
Flavor: Fruity, Green bean, Minerally and Floral
Tasting Notes: I used too much leaves. I had no idea how potent Tea From Taiwan’s DaYuLing was before trying this, I used the entirety of my seven gram sample in my 110ml clay teapot. I should have used about half the amount of leaves I did. I have to be honest I never had a tea that was this strong, let alone a DaYuLing. I am going to try not to let my mistake bias me against this tea, but as always you should take anything I write with a grain of salt. I normally try to sample a tea twice before, but I forgot to buy a second sampler. Regardless this is a very strange DaYuLing, I am more used to floral ones, but this is quite vegetal, while it was primarily fruity I am not sure if I have ever encountered a DaYuLing that had considerably stronger vegetal notes than floral.

So far it is a rather interesting DaYuLing, as much as I enjoy floral oolongs I prefer vegetal ones. I do not often encounter vegetal Taiwanese oolongs and am always intrigued when I find one.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 190oF
Brewing Time: Thirty Seconds
Aroma: Floral                     
Flavor: Fruity, Vegetal, Wet Stone and Floral
Tasting Notes: I decided to cut the brewing time in half, but maintain the temperature, and got a much better result. While I can still tell this is a very powerful potent tea, it is much more palatable. The vegetal notes are starting to sing, I described the previous steeping as having green bean notes, this time it is a little murkier. The minerally notes have become distinct and I feel pretty comfortable describing them as wet stone, although there is a little iron taste to it that I often describe as being similar to rust (or even when you cut the inside of your mouth). The mouthfeel is very thick and creamy.

Again this is rather strange Taiwanese oolong, it has a very pungent floral aroma, yet the strongest tastes are fruit and vegetal. I know the aroma of brewed tea does not always reflect the actual tastes of tea itself, but it feels a little deceptive. The floral notes are very light and captivating, but when you get to the taste of the tea it does not have those effervescent flavors I’d expect. There is nothing wrong with this; in fact I enjoy this contrast between these very delicate aromas and the harshness of the vegetal and wet stone flavors. All too often Taiwanese oolongs are light and floral.

Third Steeping
Temperature: 195oF
Brewing Time: Forty-Five seconds
Aroma: Floral
Flavor: Peach, Vegetal, Iron and Floral
Tasting Notes: The mouthfeel is starting to wane, but it is still creamy. It so strange, just as I finish writing this has some pleasant, but harsh flavors; it suddenly develops a strong, but very soft peach taste. It still has those pleasant harsh vegetal notes, but they are starting to soften.

This is a very strange tea, but it is enjoyable nonetheless. I do not often encounter Taiwanese oolongs that have the level of complexity that this does. It goes from these very harsh pleasant vegetal notes to softer peachy notes in the later infusions. Tea From Taiwan’s DaYuLing starts out a little harsh and the longer you brew it the more typical soft notes start to comes out. As I already mentioned I bought the DaYuLing/HuaGang sampler for $8, I do not know how long Tea From Taiwan this sampler before it sells out, but the base price of this DaYuLing for 75g at $46 it is well worth the price. I do realize this is a very expensive tea, but I do not feel this is the type of tea you are going to want to drink any or day, it is more of a special occasion type of tea.


Just a guy who likes tea.