Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time now will know that I have championed experimenting with teas since the very start of my tea journey. While I haven’t had flavoured teas in a long time now as I now just drink traditional teas, that doesn’t mean that the side of me that loves to experiment with teas has disappeared. I may not have been experimenting as often as I used to but I’m slowly getting back into it and looking forward to doing more tea traditional tea blending experiments as time goes on.
The blending experiment I’ll be covering in today’s post was something I didn’t even plan to do, it just kind of happened by chance. I was coming to the end of my bag of Moonbloom Dancong from White2Tea and only had 2 grams leaf so I didn’t have enough left to do a session with just that on it’s own. So I decided, why not blend it with another oolong from White2Tea and see how well they would blend together when steeped? The tea I decided to blend the Moonbloom Dancong with is Daily Duck Shit. Both of which are from the tea company White2Tea.
My thinking behind that choice is that while they both have different flavour profiles completely, they are both still dancongs. Separately I loved both of these teas during the session I did with them, so I was interested in seeing how they would mix when being prepared together. To see if they would completely clash or blend beautifully. Obviously, I was hoping for the latter.
Upon mixing the same amount of leaves together and placing them into warmed gaiwan, the aromas of the two different teas mixed and created the most beautiful concoction comprised of notes such as plum jam, fresh baked butter pastries and custard with nutmeg. It smelt sweet, and had a subtly floral element to it. A wet stone minerality was present as well as a subtle toasted/roasted undertone, underlying greenness.
After the first steep of 25 seconds, the aroma of the wet leaves did have a lot of the same notes from the dry leaves but there were some new notes in there that really came to life. These were creme brûlée, preserved plums, vanilla bean pannacotta with a red berry compote, orchids and another flower I can’t quite pin down, brown sugar and milk bread buns. As weird and specific as this sounds, the wet leaves after a few steeps had notes of a bonfire but not an active bonfire, more like if you had a bonfire on grass and it left a burn mark in it’s place after dying down and you walked past that burn mark the next day and smelt the ashes that had been sat in the sun.
The liquor started at a pale yellow with brown hints that got darker as the steeps went on, but started to get lighter at the tail end of the session which is only to be expected really. Steep 1-3 were slightly murky/cloudy for some reason. Freshly filtered water was used so I have no idea why it went cloudy, but after steep three the steeps it did start to clear up. Heavy florals were the stand out note of this experimental blend and I think that’s down the the fact that both teas used have prominent florals and together they just became a floral bomb. The first three steeps that floral note seemed to overpower everything else because of that it also felt overly acidic.
However after those first thee steps the floral clamed down and other flavour notes were able to come to the surface such as: red currents, sherbet, preserved plums, freshly baked buttery pastries, creme brûlée, grapefruit, subtle light woods, a minerality reminiscent of wet stones beside a river and a subtle malt and milk chocolate appeared as it started to cool in my cup.
In terms of Mmouthfeel & finish, this tea has a long lasting sweetness on the back of the tounge which amplified a little when you take a breathe in through the mouth. It was somewhat drying on the sides of my cheeks towards back of mouth, but a lot of dancong are and mixing two together seemed to amplify that. After the first three steeps it was pretty smooth and very easy to drink though I just had to get past that wall of floral. Shockingly the empty gong dao bei and gaiwan lid both smell strongly of sweet butterscotch and caramel neither of which were present in the the aroma of the leaves of the taste… everything in me wishes they were though.
Did it blend well? Overall I would say yes, I do think they blended well together, creating a fantastic flavour profile. The only thing I would say is that the first maybe three steeps were a little too heavy on the florals for me and that’s probably the only way in which it did blend too well to start off with. However that did seem to balance itself out as the session went on. Had that not have happened I my overall thoughts on this experiment would be the complete opposite as it just would have been to floral heavy for me.
While for the most part this blending experiment did end up in a great session, I don’t know if I would blend the two together again. I think I want to avoid blending two dancongs together to make sure I don’t get that overly floral element. My aim before the end of this year it to try and discover what blends best with dancong so I’ll definitely keep documenting my experiments until I find the right fit.
Should you want to try either of these oolongs separately or together you can find daily duck shit here and moonbloom dancong here. If you are like me and love to experiment with tea, lets talk pairings in the comments or over on my insta because I’m always looking to try new combos and will absolutely take any suggestions you have.
Until next time, Happy Steeping – Kimberley