Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, dark and twisted
Steep time: 20 seconds
Water Temperature: 203 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: deep amber
The Wuyi Mountains immediately bring oolong to mind for many tea lovers but the black teas produced in this region are just as special. That is why I was excited to give this tea a try. It Zhao Zhu describes it as a wild black tea but I do wish there was a bit more detail given about that.
Yesheng is a term often used to describe tea trees that are feral, meaning that they were planted by humans and then abandoned. It is interesting to note that this tea is a few years old. Black tea doesn’t quite age in the same way as puerh but it can still do some interesting things to the flavor profile.
If I didn’t know any better, I would have guessed that this was yancha. It lacked the signature charcoal roasted aroma but the leaves definitely bore a strong resemblance, especially once unfurled. They appeared somewhat broken but in a way that is a typical style for this region. There were a few stems here and there but otherwise, they seemed to be clean and well sorted.
Yesheng Wuyi Red 2017 brewed up a deep amber color with nice clarity. Initial sips were woody and sweet with notes of chocolate and dark fruits and the slightest hint of smoke. There was hardly any astringency, even with extended infusion times. The finish had an interesting vegetal aspect that came across almost as mossy. Zhen Zhao’s tasting note was butter and vegetables. Not sure I agree but it’s tasty either way!
This tea was very mild as far as black tea goes. It would be a great option for fans of Sun Moon Lake. Can we talk about how much I love their amber jars? Clear glass might look nice but they will expose your tea to light, reducing its shelf life. There’s nothing quite like great packaging and I can imagine so many ways to reuse them.
Have you ever tried Yesheng Wuyi Red? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Zhao Zhu Tea Green Dancong 2017 No.530
This tea is an unusually green twist on my beloved dancong style of oolong. Zhao Zhu's tasting notes of orchid, lily and lilac were spot on.
Zhao Zhu Shui Xian 2015 No. 509
This Shui Xian from Zhao Zhu was surprisingly floral with a sweet, nutty aftertaste. It had all of the minerality that you would expect from a Wuyi oolong.