Supremely floral. A Phoenix Oolong, or dancong (or laocong), from an 80 year old tree on a small family farm on Phoenix Mountain.
This tea goes by a few names, including Honeysuckle Aroma and Persimmon Aroma. I’m down with both of those. I can taste both, not just as notes, but as poetic equalities. Depending on the steep, this tea is quite like biting into a yummy persimmon, or being gratified by a nectarful honeysuckle. Yashi translates as duck shit. Some people say that the name was created as a clever way for a farmer to keep people from eyeing their precious tree. Others say that it was the ducks that fertilized the original trees that produced this yumminess. My favorite explanation, though, is from a commenter on the internet who said, “I’m from that area of China, and that’s just how people name things.” Ah, yes, that rings true.
Some stores will actually advertise Yashi Xiang as a very rare tea. My understanding is that it is the third most popular aroma of Phoenix teas in China after Honey Orchid and Almond Aroma. So I wouldn’t call it rare, but it is unique and the aroma is mesmerizing. I chose to send you this particular Yashi, because its mesmerizing aromas are met in equal measure by an abundance of buttery mouthfeel, delicious sweetness, and depth, making for a balanced tea that is hard to come by. I hope you love it. I think it's the shit. I actually received two Yashi teas from last year’s harvest from our Chaozhou friends, one young and one old, and both were really amazing. When I was choosing between the two, I went old, I couldn’t help it. It just envelops you. You want to hug the young tree, the old tree hugs you back. The young tree is amazing to taste. The old tree is amazing to swim in.
Nose: complex floral notes of rose, lilac, and orange blossom; butter; graham cracker
Taste: elderflower cordial, barley, toasted nori
Mouthfeel: full-bodied creaminess cut by structured tannins. Could be great with full flavored entrees like roasted chicken, carnitas, or pan-seared tempeh.