Well, my first order from Moychay well and truly surprised me, and made it to the Southern bit of The North from Amsterdam in a very respectable 4 days.
On opening the parcel I was delighted to see four free 5 gram samples of Moychay’s non-Pu teas for me to play with, and in this post I’ll be looking at the first of them, a Dung Ding Oolong that has been given the GABA treatment.
My first impression is that Moychay like to play it mysterious – the only information given on this tea is that it hails from Lugu in Nantuo County, (aka the “home” of Dung Ding), and if I’m reading the text right is made from “first-class” raw material.
In any case, the dry leaf smelled faintly of white raisins and milk chocolate, but after a few seconds in the warmed up gaiwan I picked up freshly baked raisin cookies, heavy cream, and that “hard to describe but you know it when you smell it” GABA thing.
Water Used: Filtered tap water
Weight of dry leaf: 5 grams
Steeping vessel: 100 ml porcelain gaiwan
Water temperature: 95°C
No. & duration: 10 infusions of 10, 10, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, and 90 seconds duration
Those dragon eggs looked really tightly rolled, so I opted for multiple 10 second steepings until such time as they started to open up a bit.
Naturally enough the first infusion was a classic “early days” job, although the liquor was already showing great promise, especially in the body department.
The second steeping saw the GABA thing jump up a level in intensity, and weirdly enough that came across as almost sencha like. As expected the body continued smoothly on its upward trajectory.
The third round was the last of the 10 seconders, and that saw the roasty, Oolong nature of the leaves start to push to the front of the stage. If one flavour could be said to be dominant at this point in the session then it would have to be “Wholemeal bread toast“.
Just over the halfway mark in the session I started noticing a sweet, floral aftertaste, but that kind of heralded entering the back-end of the session. I did the old “turning leaves” trick, where you dig into the gaiwan with your trusty bamboo spatula and flip the mass of leaves head over heels, so that the leaves that have so far been on the bottom of the gaiwan switch places with the leaves that since the start of the session have been on top, and so have, theoretically, been less exposed to hot water.
That did the trick insofar as it gifted me another couple of rounds, but after a 10th infusion it felt as though I’d had the best of what the leaves had to offer. Interestingly enough, my 10 rounds long session was in-line with what Moychay’s brewing advice told you to expect from the leaves. Despite each round only yielding just shy of 100 ml. of liquor, the session clocked in at just over two hours in length, testament to this tea’s easy going, slow sipping nature.
So, this was a very interesting session, all things considered. I was trying an unusual twist on a traditional tea from a new-to-me shop, and I really couldn’t have asked for more in the “show me something new!” stakes. It’s really got me pumped to try out the other three samples from Moychay.
Watch this space, etc…