90

It’s been an exhausting week and a half. I’ve been busy cramming for a certification exam that I should have started studying for 3 months ago except life and summer got in the way. In the process, I’ve gone through a lot of different teas to help fuel my long study sessions.

This is the first dong ding I’ve had in a long while. Normally I am not a fan of dark oolongs with the exception of fruity dan congs and some yanchas. When I bought this, I misread the description and thought it was a light roast. Turns out that although this tea has an assertive roast, it was anything but charcoal-like. Out of the bag, the aroma was very mouthwatering. I smelled roasted nuts, baked bread, flowers, a little spice and a hint of hazelnut. After a rinse, the aroma became s’mores like. First steep greeted me with toasted nuts and a little char. The second steep was a green/dark hybrid with baked and floral tones. The roastiness softens by the 5th steep and I get pleasant spice notes. When grandpa steeped, it’s smooth and warm. Starts off woodsy and popcorn like before turning into a nice graham cracker taste.

True to its name, this tea has a fantastic aroma and excellent flavor. The fact that it grandpa steeps so well is an added bonus because it’s another tea I can throw in my tumbler for work or while studying.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Flowers, Graham Cracker, Marshmallow, Roast nuts, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 tsp 9 OZ / 266 ML
Daylon R Thomas

My bad that I called it a light roast. I’m used to roasted Dong Dings being a little bit heavier, though it is impressive that it was a mid-charcoal one.

LuckyMe

I actually didn’t see your tasting note until later but I’m glad I didn’t read the description on the site too closely. It’s good to step outside of my comfort zone sometimes :)

Daylon R Thomas

:) I was pleasantly surprised with this one myself. I thought it was going to be lighter, but the roast makes a nice accent to the orchid notes I kept getting personally.

Daylon R Thomas

I used to love medium roasted and oxidized Dong Dings and Tie Guan Yins, but I liked them less over time because they reminded me more of a potatoes than I liked. The recent ones have been better.

LuckyMe

Same here. Roasted oolongs can be great but alas too many ashy tasting teas have spoiled them for me. I love toasted nut and baked fruit accent the better ones add to the tea.

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Daylon R Thomas

My bad that I called it a light roast. I’m used to roasted Dong Dings being a little bit heavier, though it is impressive that it was a mid-charcoal one.

LuckyMe

I actually didn’t see your tasting note until later but I’m glad I didn’t read the description on the site too closely. It’s good to step outside of my comfort zone sometimes :)

Daylon R Thomas

:) I was pleasantly surprised with this one myself. I thought it was going to be lighter, but the roast makes a nice accent to the orchid notes I kept getting personally.

Daylon R Thomas

I used to love medium roasted and oxidized Dong Dings and Tie Guan Yins, but I liked them less over time because they reminded me more of a potatoes than I liked. The recent ones have been better.

LuckyMe

Same here. Roasted oolongs can be great but alas too many ashy tasting teas have spoiled them for me. I love toasted nut and baked fruit accent the better ones add to the tea.

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Bio

My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea years ago, and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and a few flavored teas. My tea epiphany came a few years ago when I discovered jade oolongs. That was the gateway drug to the world of fine tea and teaware.

With the exception of a handful of lightly scented teas, I drink mostly straight tea. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks are beginning to grow on me. I’ve dipped my toe into a few puerhs now but it’s still relatively new territory for me. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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