The story starts with Levi and Rong Gao first meeting in New York and shifting to Wuyishan. Rong spent five years learning about the tea industry and business within the US, before returning to China to deepen her understanding with master tea crafters. Together, they formed both Shifting Senses and Xiang Tu Cha Shuo. To clarify, Xiang Tu Cha Shuo is the tea producer, and Shifting Senses is the direct link to the US Market. They reached out and set me two of their teas, but today I am looking into Duck Shit Oolong from 2019. It has been a few months since I have tried Duck Shit Oolong, so I am excited to try it again. Here were my thoughts:
Duck Shit Oolong 2019: This was an absolute treat, I made sure to sit by my Christmas tree and have an undisturbed tea session where I could really get into the tea. As you can probably tell, I also felt like getting a bit fancy with my camera. This tea session also made me question the way that I was consuming tea via my gaiwan. I was instructed to do short steepings (3 -5 seconds) which seemed quite short but actually had amazing results.
Immediately after opening the tin, I stuck my nose in and tried to get a first impression of the aroma. I was met with some honey granule notes and an almost milky/creamy feeling to it. My mouth watered immediately. I then properly heated up my set and shook the tea lightly in the gaiwan to “wake” the tea leaves. I continued to search for the aroma notes and was met with a lovely sweet one that lingered on the lid. After my first short steeping, I was not quite sure what to expect from the tea being that I normally start at 15-second steeps. Initially, I noticed some slightly roasted notes with a honey finish. (Please note that often my nose and taste buds mix up floral and roasted, this actually seemed to happen here). The tea was extremely mellow, with no astringency, and was quite silky. The color was a lovely golden-yellow hue. After some shorter infusions (slowly gaining a few seconds at a time), some citrus notes peaked out as well as some fragrant floral notes. I am determining that the previous roasted notes could indeed be floral.
From the first to last sip, I noticed just a sense of calm and warmth that overcame me. I noticed a shift that the tea took throughout my session, going from honey-sweet to floral to floral-sweet. As soon as I had wrapped up the session, I felt that the leaves still have a bit to give and put them in water to cold-brew in the fridge. This is my absolute favorite thing to do after a gongfu session (I am also normally really bad at cold-brewing fresh leaves, so this is perfect for me). I tried this tea the next day and it was absolutely lovely. Light and crisp, and had hints of honey and almost a bit of vegetal sweetness. Hard to describe honestly, but was absolutely delicious. I might have scared a couple of co-workers with me cold-brew in a wine glass, but it is my favorite way to drink cold-brewed tea.
Price: For 7 grams of loose leaf tea, the price is $12. This tea is a bit on the pricier side, but I would deem extremely worth it. I really feel lucky to have tried this tea.
Packaging: The tea came in a tin canister, with a think label (I do not know why I was so infatuated with the thicker paper that made up the label, but it just felt really nice in the hands and added to the experience). This is the best way to store your tea, and it came wrapped in a plastic to ensure freshness.
Sourcing: This tea has great sourcing information, one of the reasons being the relationship they have with Xiang Tu Cha Shuo. This tea was sourced from Chao Zhou, Wu Dong in China and is from the 2019 harvest.
I almost labeled this review as “I am Full of Duck Shit Oolong” and I definitely had a good snicker about it. But in the end, I wanted to have full respect for the tea and those who took the time to produce it so I could consume it. What are your thoughts on Duck Shit Oolong? Have you had it before, and if so what was your experience like? Let me know! Happy Brewing!