Thursday, February 04, 2010

Spring 2008 'classic' Dong Ding Oolong

Cultivar: Luanze Oolong
Place: Feng Huang, Dong Ding, Central Taiwan
Harvested by hand on April 21, 2008
Roasted in May 2008.

I purchased this Oolong in spring 2008. The roasting was pretty strong at the time. So, I decided to let it rest. Now, 20 months later, the tea feels smoother it feels right to add it to my list. (Also, the spring 2009 'classic' just sold out. It was roasted more lightly).

The color of the brew is golden, pointing to orange, and very clear.

The smells are dark chocolate, malt, brown sugar and ripe fruits.

The taste is sweet, drying and full body. It stays on the tongue and above.

The leaves are quite dark, but they open up completely. The roasting is indeed quite strong, especially compared to the 2009 version of this tea. But it's very comforting and warm on a gray winter day.

In the past, it took a long time for the tea to reach the end customer. Roasting was a way to preserve the leaves during the long journey. Nowadays, air shipments and modern logistics have cut delivery time to days or weeks. This is also a reason why Oolongs have gone 'green' lately.

If the fresh teas like speed, then this 'classic' Dong Ding prefers to go slow. And this is the best way to enjoy it: simply and slowly!
For this Cha Xi, I'm using my zhuni Duo Qio Hu on an 'ivory' white plate, 3 'ivory' white tulip cups and a matching mini jar. The new black Cha Bu features a Chinese painting of bamboo and pine tree. (I will show you this Cha Bu in more detail in my next article.)


Unknown said...

gorgeous cha bu!

TeaMasters said...

Thanks Justin,
I will show it better in the next post. I'm very happy with the result. And the second side has also a very nice color.

EnKoppZen said...

oh my, this will sound very repeating from me now, but I just have to comment on the chaxi again. ( ... got this weakness in tea set ups and fabrics)
This is really splendidly beautiful!

五行雲子 said...

Beautifully done as always.. It's always a pleasure to read your posts.

jay said...

I don't think I've ever seen a Dong Ding with such a heavy roast. I definitely want to try this one.

Petr Novák said...

Are cherry trees in blossom in Taiwan? Or is it apple branch? We have about half of meter of snow here and I am waiting with impatience for this kind of beauty.

About more or less roasted DongDing: I was thinking if less roasted teas are more common (as I can assess from market…) also because it is easier to achieve good light roasted oolong than good strongly roasted. And of course for majority of customers there are more attractive kinds of tastes. Is it (at least partly) a truth?

Kim Christian said...

Huh, the cha bu is sooo gorgeous !!

And these strong roasted leaves look
so tasty...

TeaMasters said...

Thanks everybody for your kind words.

Apparently they are! I got these branches from the florist in the traditional market. I think they would be too fragile to be imported.

And you are correct in saying that it's easier to make a light roast or no roast at all. Also, roasting used to be the tea merchants' job and skill. Now, this is a process that one expects from a farmer. And since he doesn't do it very often, he is more likely to get it wrong.

kuma said...

Your pictures are so beautiful!

Cindy said...

I just tried this tea today. Oh my, I was in heaven. The roast flavor is beautiful and not too powering. There is a nice balance between its roastiness and fragrance. Beutiful tea!