Country of Origin: Taiwan
Leaf Appearance: deep green, tightly rolled
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Dong Ding was the Taiwanese tea poster child when I first got into serious tea drinking. It seems like it’s often forgotten about these days as Alishan and Da Yu Ling seem to be more popular. I have a soft spot for Dong Ding though because it was one of the first oolongs that I really fell in love with. This one was the first tea I grabbed from a batch of samples from +Eco-Cha Artisan Teas in my “to be reviewed” drawer. The batch I tried was 2015 but I’m sure that the 2016 harvest will be just as delicious.
I immediately stuck my nose into the bag and inhaled the roasted aroma of the dry leaves. When prepared in a gaiwan with shorter gongfu infusions the taste wasn’t quite so intense but it was delicious nonetheless. Nutty and mildly fruit notes with a slight tang in the midpalate gave way to subtle floral hints in the finish. There was no astringency at all, even when the steep time was extended. Whenever possible I like to play around with brewing a tea in a few different ways before writing a review. It really helps me to get to know a tea and figure out where its limits are. Gongfu’ing this tea yielded more than six infusions and the leaves held up to at least three western style infusions.
This is what I like to call a Goldilocks tea. What I mean by that it’s just right. It wasn’t nuclear green but it also wasn’t roasted to death. If you prefer a fuller bodied cup, I’d recommend using their western style brewing directions (7g in 300ml). The roast was noticeably more pronounced when I drank the tea that way. For those that prefer “grandpa style” drinking, this tea would definitely be a good candidate as long as you don’t overdo it on leaf volume.