TTB Review #52: Simple yet enjoyable. There is a cacophony of flavors, individually subtle, but together present and pleasant. Tastes more like a green tea than an oolong. Better cold than hot. Feels sophisticated and mature.
“TTB Review #52: Simple yet enjoyable. There is a cacophony of flavors, individually subtle, but together present and pleasant. Tastes more like a green tea than an oolong. Better cold than hot....” Read full tasting note
“Nothing like the first aroma of a bag of freshly opened tea. Granted it doesn’t compare to smelling it fresh off the processing line. But the mineral and floral scents emanating from this bag are...” Read full tasting note
“10g sample was actually 9.5g (no big deal). Used 4.8g for competetion-style brewing. Will follow up with gong fu brewing test. I usually use 7g for gong fu so with 4.7g I’ll use a bit less water...” Read full tasting note
“Comparing this to the roasted Dong Ding from BTTC. First, I prefer this version to the roasted Dong Ding. More complexity and flavor. Also, the tea evolves a bit between infusions, with more...” Read full tasting note
This tea is hand-picked, hand-made the old-fashioned way with floral overtones and a very smooth drinking experience.
Here’s an interesting tea. 30 years ago, the most sought after teas on the local Taiwanese market came from three areas: Wenshan, Muzha and Dong Ding which produced a rolled oolong. As the High Mountain Oolongs expanded into other higher mountain areas like Alishan, Shanlinxi and Lishan, the popularity of the lower elevation Dong Ding started to get crowed out. In time, the farmers there started making their teas in more modern ways to cut costs.
Fast forward and now there are a few farmers who have decided to go retro and make Dong Ding Oolong with the same production methodology as 30 years ago! Their goal is to remind everyone why Dong Ding got famous in the first place. We think they succeeded.
This tea is more floral and reminds one of a nice Tieguanyin. We really like this tea and hope you’ll give it a shot!
Company description not available.
dong ding oolong "classic style"teamasters
Old Master Dong Ding OolongMountain Stream Teas
Taiwan 'New Style' Dong Ding Oolong TeaWhat-Cha
Dong Ding Oolong Traditional Greener StyleLife In Teacup
"Old Man Dong Ding" Spring 2015 OolongGlobal Tea Hut
Qing Tian Xiang Green Style Dong Ding Oolong TeajLteaco (fongmongtea)
Nothing like the first aroma of a bag of freshly opened tea. Granted it doesn’t compare to smelling it fresh off the processing line. But the mineral and floral scents emanating from this bag are pretty fantastic. I will be steeping this gong fu style. Thus will not be adhering to the 3 mins rule. Though from my first sip I can tell this one will need a bit longer in order to release all the precious flavors. The second sip at a minute revealed floral notes, gardenia, and a few mineral notes. I’m now 2-3 mins and getting wet rock notes, popcorn, and tropical floral notes. Overall, its a decent oolong but I feel that I’ve had better and the amount of infusions you get from this one is not much.
10g sample was actually 9.5g (no big deal). Used 4.8g for competetion-style brewing. Will follow up with gong fu brewing test. I usually use 7g for gong fu so with 4.7g I’ll use a bit less water & slightly longer steeps.
Dry tea looks nice, medium sized balls with some larger ones and a bit of dust. Dry aroma is not strongly present.
Filtered tap water at full boil, quick rinse. 6-min brew in gaiwan. Tea color and aroma are both surprisingly light. Wet leaf aroma has notes of orchid, omanthus, honey, peach.
Tea taste and mouthfeel are both very pleasant. Tastes about like what a light, unroasted Dong Ding should taste like. Lingering sweetness is present and very nice but less pronounced than in high mountain oolongs? (I think?)
Lots of 2- and 3-leaf systems in the open leaves, as well as some extremely large leaves (Fo Shou cultivar?), a few smaller torn bits, but I’d say it appears hand-picked?
Very nice tea, and would be more than happy with it as an everyday drinker, particularly given the good price ($12.99/56g).
Flavors: Honey, Orchid, Osmanthus, Peach
Comparing this to the roasted Dong Ding from BTTC.
First, I prefer this version to the roasted Dong Ding. More complexity and flavor. Also, the tea evolves a bit between infusions, with more spice and fruit notes showing up as the session progresses.
Second, based on previous reviews, this tea has quite a fan base! I certainly enjoyed it, but I found the flavor to be a bit light compared to other green oolong options. Just like the roasted version, I would consider this to be an approachable easy drinker. I would recommend those exploring their Taiwanese tea options to pick this up along with BTTC’s Baozhong. The Baozhong has a more powerful and assertive flavor profile, so you can determine what your own preferences are. Personally, I think Baozhong or a Tie Guan Yin are more interesting to drink. But don’t take my word for it!
Dry leaf – honey floral, cilantro, coriander, perfumey floral. In preheated vessel – buttery green vegetables, “popcorn” roastiness like Bi Luo Chun
Smell – green vegetables – snow peas, buttered cooked zucchini, sweet floral, honey butter, hints of cinnamon-raisin bread
Taste – Arrival/development: buttered fresh green veg (snow peas and zucchini especially), honey butter, buttered cinnamon-raisin toast. Finish/aftertaste: peach, dried apricot, strong lemongrass lingering finish
Winter 2016 version.
Vernal equinox at hand, and feeling vaguely renewed after attending a wonderful Nowruz family luncheon, I thought this tea might serve me well as a way of demarcating the seasonal shift.
Filtered Santa Monica municipal water, to glass cha hai, to my Taiwanese purple clay tea-pot (mostly used for heavy roast oolong), back to the glass cha hai, into my porcelain cup.
Rinse: Once the leaves are wet the aromatics come to life dramatically: butterscotch, chestnut, fresh bush/wax beans, freshly cleaned wood, etc.
45sec: Greenish lemon chiffon liquor; aromatic but weaker than the wet leaves held under the nose; very delicate nectar-like sweetness emerges from the depths of the finish. Wild grasses, with hints of melon as well.
60sec: More of the same. Fresh cream flavors accentuate the mouth-feel, and suggest hints of butterscotch as well. Lots of floral notes in here, though they largely remain secondary to the gentle sweetness up front and rounding things out.
90sec: Pushing the leaf a bit, liquor darkens slightly to a canary yellow; a hint of spice perhaps (coriander? stale dried mint?) develops, finishes slightly more herbal – otherwise consistent with the initial steeps.
4 – 5 more steeps from 90 seconds up to 3 minutes before the sweetness fades and the floral complexity is diminished/muddled.
Overall – light, floral, creamy, and moderately energizing. Looking forward to trying the roasted version from the same vendor…
Okay, as those of you who read my previous review for this tea may be aware, I was not completely satisfied with my brewing method, so I decided to change it up a little bit. I still went with a more or less Chinese gongfu approach, but used less leaf and started with a longer rinse and a longer first steep. My steep times for this session were as follows: 30 seconds, 35 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, and 5 minutes. I still got all of the aromas and flavors I got before and in the same order to boot. Maybe my first attempt, though not ideal, was not so bad after all. I still really adore this tea.
Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Osmanthus, Pear
This is really an excellent tea – the first one I’ve tried from BTT that I actually bought off their site. I drank some of this sample with some teafriends to celebrate the New Year :) The dry leaf looked pretty green, but the had a bit of a popcorn aroma to it, along with some slight green floral. After a rinse, it smelled more like caramel corn. I was surprised with how green the leaves started to look after they unfurled, but the aroma and taste certainly confirmed that this is a skillfully roasted tea.
This tea displayed characteristics both from green oolong and from more highly roasted teas. There were some succulent floral and cucumber notes, but also some more nutty and roasty flavors which interacted beautifully with each other. The tea also came across as very creamy. A sweet nutty flavor, almost like candied almond, lingered in the back of my mouth for many minutes after I finished each cup, even at the very end of the session. It made it hard to start my next tea, because I didn’t want that flavor to go away.
This tea is definitely a hit for me. I enjoyed it with 195F water, the recommended temperature on the package, but it also performed quite well with boiled water. This is a tea which I could certainly see myself reordering after I’ve had a chance to try some of BTT’s other oolong offerings.
On a secondary note, I think I’ve been fully converted to the roasted side of oolong. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some very good green oolongs out there (including things like the DYL I tried from BTT a couple months ago), but roasted oolongs just seem to offer nicer flavors and greater texture and complexity, at least as far as my palate is concerned.
Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Nutty, Sweet
Sometimes I wonder if I still have a little of that ornery soul most little boys grow up with where raining on everyone else’s parade is the height of wit.
Seven came before me and drank this tea, and essentially it received unanimous acclaim. So I got a sample since BTTC was good enough to show up to Midwest Tea Festival (thanks BTTC!) and today, I drank it.
With all the accolades, I certainly wasn’t prepared for what I found in my cup.
It was even better than they said.
If such notables as boychik and LP can’t capture this greatness in the limited format of mere words. far be it from me to attempt. But I echo what others have urged – try this tea if you like oolong. Try it if you haven’t had traditional processed Dong Ding, even if you’re not a fan of current style DD.
Or you know, don’t. It’ll leave more for me.
My tea from yesterday.
This tea is a masterpiece. Not quite as floral as some oolongs I’ve had but it’s the way the floral blends into the whole picture. There’s so much in the floral aroma and taste. My taste buds are not as sensitive as some so I couldn’t name all the floral notes but osmanthus was definitely there. There was a sweet osmanthus finish with each sip. The tea was smooth and oh so sweet and buttery. I reminded me of a Tie Guan Yin but not a cheap one —a very fine Tie Guan Yin.
Really an amazing tea. A must try tea.
Flavors: Butter, Floral, Osmanthus
I’ve never understood the fuss about dong ding. I know its a prestigious tea and all, but none of the ones I tried ever made an impression on me. So when I received a sample of this tea with my recent BTT order, I kind of groaned. My cupboard already had two other dong dings which I practically have to force myself to drink.
But when I opened the envelope and took a whiff, I knew this tea was going to be different. Unlike dong dings of past, this one was unroasted and had a sweet floral fragrance. The flavor is true to the aroma. This is such a flower packed tea. Wet leaf smells like hyacinth in full bloom. There is honeysuckle and lilac at the beginning of the sip and a strong osmanthus note as it goes down. The floral overtones are harmoniously balanced by a sweet nectar goodness, which Daylon Thomas correctly describes as tropical fruit. I’m impressed by how natural the tea’s floral tones are.
And boy does it have staying power. It held up admirably through 8 steeps with minimal loss of flavor. Even though I steeped it at high temperatures there was no bitterness whatsoever. Just a tangy lip smacking sweetness that lingers in the mouth.
As someone that regularly drinks jade oolongs, the distinction between them can sometimes become blurred. This one really sets itself apart with its unreal flavor. Thanks to Paul at BTT for an awesome sample!
Flavors: Flowers, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Osmanthus, Sweet