I recently won a giveaway on Instagram from Spiritwood Tea and included in that giveaway was some Dayuling tea. I have to say I did not know about Dayuling before receiving these teas. There are three main regions in Taiwan for tea – Alishan, Li Shan, and Dayuling. Dayuling tea is grown at an elevation above 2,600 meters, which makes it the highest tea gardens in the world.
Dayuling tea is also becoming increasingly rare as the Taiwanese government has been reclaiming the farms as national forest. I would encourage you to do a search on that if you wish to know all the details, but from what I have found it is a complex issue and way more than I could fit in a blog post.
I actually received four kinds of Dayuling tea, but today I am trying two of them. I have a Winter forest picking and a Winter field picking. The purpose of this post is not to pick a winner but to note any differences and try to get some tasting notes from Dayuling in general. These are of the Qingxin cultivar.
I used the recommended brewing parameters from Spiritwood. 5 grams in a 100 ml gaiwan. Water was 205 F and first steeping was for 50 seconds. Then 25 seconds for each steep 2-4.
The dry leaves of the forest pick in a warm gaiwan gave off a buttery aroma and were noticeably darker green than the field picking.
These teas were both quite lovely. They both were buttery and floral. The forest had a noticeably thicker texture and was a brighter yellow color liquor. Forest also had a slight vegetal note which I am calling peas, on the end with an ever so subtle hint of tart like a green apple. The field pick had a noticeable sweetness to it on the first infusion that the forest did not.
On the second infusion, it was the forest pick that had the sweeter notes and the field pick had more floral notes, but it was very subtle. Still buttery and lovely.
The forest pick still has a slightly tart finish to it, where the field never develops the tartness. This time the field pick was sweeter and the forest pick had more of a green peas note to it. It was at this tiem that I noticed a very strong warming body sensation. I had to turn the AC down lower.
The fourth infusion was sweet and tart for the forest and buttery and floral for the field. I stopped it at four even though these both have a lot of life left in them.
Both of these teas were excellent and I really enjoyed them. You can see the forest leaves have more left to unfurl where the field leaves are a bit thinner and unfurled more. If you like any other Taiwanese oolong, I think you will enjoy these too. Try them while you still can!
The price on the forest tea is $16 for 24 grams. At 5 g per session that is about 5 sessions per bag, which is $3.20 per session. Say 8 infusions per session and that comes to $.40 per cup. It’s not cheap.
The price on the field is $10.50 for 24 grams. At 5 g per session that is 5 sessions per bag, which is $2.10 per session. 8 infusions per session comes to $.26 per cup. That is a good price for sure.
The forest pick is 52% more expensive than the field. I personally think it is worth it to get both due to the increasing scarcity of this tea.
If you’ve had Dayuling, I hope you enjoyed it and if you haven’t had it, I hope you will try it soon. Cheers!