This had to be my favourite sample from my latest Hojo order and it became so. My first experience with this tea was the deep fermented dong ding, it blew my socks off. He knew how much I liked this dong ding so in my next order he gave me something else to try... the same tea but with less fermentation and a slight roast he gave himself. When opening the package I expected a slightly higher roast, it still had a strong flowery odor. Nothing bad ofcourse, just different than my wild imaginations about this tea. The balls are rolled slightly bigger than its higher fermented brother with a greener look.
The first smell of this tea - put in a warm gaiwan- was sweet sweet sweeeet! The slight roasting gave it a sweet, honey puffed rice smell with no hints of flowers to be found. When brewed, and finaly taste, it stuffed a bouquet of flowers into my mouth. It's flowery, extremely flowery and it stays flowery during the whole session. It's a more refined version of it's deeper fermented brother, a bit lighter and floral without the strong oxidation taste. It's still amazing though, much more Spring like. I have to admit that when I took the first sip, it was quiet for a few seconds till I said: wow! Then I ran upstairs with a cup for my mom: ' Try this one, it's like an angel pissing on your tongue!'. Again - as with the deep fermented dong ding- she wasn't that impressed, perhaps more unexperienced taste buds are overwhelmed or cannot comprehend such a Godlike aftertaste. It might lack a bit in overall complexity but why would it change flavours during the session if the flavours it contain are near perfect? While the taste was outstanding, surprising was its endurance, I got 10+ brews out of it and still going, might be due the fact that I used slightly more tea than usual.
Later on, the brew turns a bit more on the 'bourbon side' together with citrus fruits(fresh lime). Beers aged on bourbon casks are a bit sweeter with vanilla notes and slightly oxidized from the aging, this tea shows some similarities. Lately I've been thinking of letting some beer age on oolong, I should talk about it with some beer brewing friends.
I hope that soon I'll be able to buy some new tea from different merchants, it's kind of strange to review 4-5 teas from only 1 person. To make it clear: I'm not sponsored by anyone, just a student who cannot afford buying tea from many different merchant and mainly relies on samples.
Now back to the tea: try it and I will ensure you that you will like it!