On Dec. 29th, I was asked to go to a friend’s and make some tea for them as we haven’t gotten together in a while and we were on a two weeks break. I asked my friends what tea they would like to try, and they replied with “something sweet and fun.” So I thought, why not Duck Shit from Mei Leaf— as I thought it would be the perfect tea for the occasion. Even just the name; is intriguing.
The name, 鸭屎香, which translates to Duck Shit Aroma, creates many people to have misunderstandings that this tea will actually resemble “duck shit.” But in many cases; it’s the complete opposite. Baked notes, fresh, out-of-the oven type of smells are very common characteristics of this cultivar, and as well as floral notes, lilacs, orchid, and other sweet smelling things. It’s supposed to be delightful, and make your senses dance. The farmer who named this cultivar Duck Shit is incredibly clever, as he/she didn’t want others in the village to know how wonderfully delicious this tea can actually be.
There are many different flavors or different cultivars/ sub-flavors/cuttings of Dancong. Such as 蜜兰香 Mi Lan Xiang，玉兰香 Yu Lan Xiang，杏仁香 Xing Ren Xiang，八仙 Ba Xian，通天香 Tong Tian Xiang, and many others. All of these names are representations of what the varietal of this type of Dancong is supposed to remind you of. For example, Mi Lan on one side is renowned for it’s very peachy, honey like taste；while the Xin Ren Xiang is supposedly very herbal and bitter, with almondy characteristics. In the future, I would love to make a blog post on the differences between these varietals, to really dive deep into the world of Dancong. My first Dancong I tried was a 东方红 (Oriental Red Dancong)， and it blew me away completly. Since then, I have not incountered anything that tasted better than that one. I asked if the tea was expensive, and my friend’s mom said. “It’s Chairman Mao’s signature Oolong.” I was speechless at how vast and rich the flavors were. Now, let’s get right into the tasting of this tea!
Steeping Time ( less than 20 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 5 seconds)
Number of Total Steepings: Over 8 strong infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves: Mild, almost like dried cherries .
Aroma of Wet Leaves: Flower Garden with peaches and a little bit of butter mixed with it. Purely unique.
Taste Profile: See Below
Texture Profile: The texture is sharp but not very astringent. Soft bitterness but a refreshing kind, almost like fresh citrus peel. The mouthfeel is lighter than other Dancongs I’ve tried. But still good enough to appreciate the different faces of this tea. Easy going, very friendly tea.
Feeling/Aftertaste: Warming, slightly energising. Rising warmth or “chi” towards the heart area. Friend’s loved the warmth of this tea!
Price: 42.5 Canadian Dollars/ 30 grams
Rating 8.5 out of 10.
This tea had a lot to say, but first things first. I didn’t take many pictures because I was busy pouring for my guests and was focusing on tasting. I have my tasting notes for every two infusions below.
I tasted a lot of cream, nuts, apricots and that greenish, viny taste that I associate with a lot of lighter roasted Dancongs. Sophia, was like “Oh, it tastes so comforting.” I knew right off the bat that they all liked this one. It’s just super easy going—- easy to drink. Good for any occasion; even with sweets. I feel like this tea will go really well with sweets, especially, like those very light, cream based cakes. The first two infusions had very mild astringency and bitterness, and leaves your mouth coated with the essence of goodness.
The third and fourth infusions of this oolong was probably the most delicious brews, as the bitterness was just right and it had a very nice heart warming chi afterwards. Me, Jenny, and Sophia all agreed that our bodies felt warm after drinking the fourth infusion. We were all enjoying the tea, to a point that no one spoke for around 5 min! Perhaps, a little tea drunk?
After the fifth and sixth infusion, I felt extremely calm, grounding, and warm. Notes of more florals, different type of fruit maybe; almost like mandarins.
On the eighth infusion, I pushed it hard. Added 5 min, and the tea was almost like stew, offering this herbal, very silky and smooth but nicely creamy tea soup that was a different experience as well.
Although this tea did not blow me away completely, it still provided us with a great experience of what quality Dancong is supposed to taste like. I just found it a little light and too green to my liking. But nonetheless, it still deserves to be called as one of my favorite lighter , more aromatic Dancongs I’ve tried. It’s also very balanced and easy to drink.
I told my friends, “Maybe this was the best sh*t you’ve had so far.”