1980 Aged Tung Ting

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Cocoa, Fruity, Honeydew, Mocha, Plums, Roasted, Coffee, Earth, Musty, Chocolate, Dates, Peach, Caramel, Cotton Candy, Sweet, Tannic, Smooth
Sold in
Bulk, Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Erik Dabel
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec 4 g 6 oz / 180 ml

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15 Tasting Notes View all

  • “It’s such an experience drinking a tea that’s so old. The aroma of the wet leaves was like a delicious piece of fresh toast. The first infusion was somewhat flowery and fruity, but a little...” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “Gongfu style today. Slightly fishy, earthy, and something in the back of the throat that I can’t figure out. I’m not sure whether I like it or not… I just can’t say.” Read full tasting note
    49
  • “There is nothing more amusing that a hype written about perfumes and teas which make you drool with anticipation and then rush to buy pounds or gallons in case they get sold out FOREVER. 1980 year...” Read full tasting note
    81
  • “Maybe it’s just today but this tea makes me sleepy. It is interesting to consider how long ago this tea was picked and processed, America had Pac-man Fever and John Lennon was shot in New York and...” Read full tasting note
    90

From Red Blossom Tea Company

Until the mid-1980s, Taiwan oolong teas were rolled by hand in small canvas bundles. Hand rolling produced tea clusters that were looser than what is created using modern machine rolling methods. These looser clusters required firing at higher temperatures for optimal preservation, which in turn produced a richer, more robust tea.

Our Aged Tung Ting is a true rarity surviving from this earlier era of tea making in Taiwan. We acquired this tea from a grower who had had the tea in his family’s possession for nearly three decades. During that time, it was lightly roasted every two to three years to remove moisture from the tea. Before the tea was shipped to San Francisco, we had it charcoal roasted using longan fruit wood, a finishing techinque also very traditional to formosa tea making.

Over time, the tea’s color has darkened and its flavor mellowed to a pleasing combination of candied plum and cocoa with rich, roasted aromatics .

About Red Blossom Tea Company View company

Company description not available.

15 Tasting Notes

92
108 tasting notes

It’s such an experience drinking a tea that’s so old. The aroma of the wet leaves was like a delicious piece of fresh toast. The first infusion was somewhat flowery and fruity, but a little light; I think that it just needed a longer time as I had only infused it for 1.5 minutes. The second cup, though, (at 2 minutes) was outstanding: floral and sweet, but with deep roasted tones. It reminded me of a full-bodied peach. The sweetness did not linger, but was replaced by a not-unpleasant chalky texture on the front of the tongue that lasted for some time. The third infusion had a little more sweetness and a little less body, and the roasted undertone became more subdued. By the fourth, the interesting chalky texture had gone and the flavor really began to remind me of a pleasant unroasted Tung Ting or a Tie Guan Yin. A fascinating tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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49
310 tasting notes

Gongfu style today.

Slightly fishy, earthy, and something in the back of the throat that I can’t figure out. I’m not sure whether I like it or not… I just can’t say.

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81
44 tasting notes

There is nothing more amusing that a hype written about perfumes and teas which make you drool with anticipation and then rush to buy pounds or gallons in case they get sold out FOREVER. 1980 year for a tea makes it antique by American standards. And indeed, this tea tastes and smells like a very antique ginger root fermented in miso. How does such old ginger root smell and taste? Well, to know it you would need to try this tea. Use hot boiling water and wait 1 minute. The secret should be then revealed to you. As for me, I am going to store it in a ginger jar, hide in a dark place and then wait another 30 years to taste it again.

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90
36 tasting notes

Maybe it’s just today but this tea makes me sleepy. It is interesting to consider how long ago this tea was picked and processed, America had Pac-man Fever and John Lennon was shot in New York and I was in 1st grade. Now to the tea: the leaves are large and a chocolate brown color until they are infused at which point they actually turn greenish brown. Initial infusions are just plain smooth at least at first then, the the mouth feels coated with earthy goodness, and a bit of Unami. The mouth coating feel ends yet a distinct drying sensation is left in the throat, drying, almost desert like, i get the same sensation when getting into a car that has been sitting in the sun on a 100 degree F day. It makes me thirsty. And it reminds me of the scent of my first car which ironically was a 1980 Ford it has that aged pleather and dried out car feeling. As strange as this description is I really enjoyed this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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7 tasting notes

Delicious. Rich, dark, earthy, complex and full. It smells great and tastes great. I have very limited experience with aged oolongs but this was was very pleasing.

However, I do have to add that I’m a little disappointed that the tea doesn’t have very good “legs”- you really only get a couple good infusions out of it- which are satisfying, but it quickly dies. I am on the lookout for an aged oolong that lasts longer, I have a feeling a really good one will go many, many infusions.

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89
31 tasting notes

Midterms are over!

I was excited to try this tea, with it being “aged” and such, it’s my first time drinking anything thirty years old. With $7.50 an ounce I had some expectations.

I open the package to deliver a rich, chocolatelike scent, woody, earthy, and smokey. The leaf quality is large rolled leaves, very dark in colour. I decided to brew this at shy of a boil in my gaiwan. Now I really hate brewing with seconds! I HATE it. But I think the richness in the smell scared me so much in screwing the brew up that I trimmed off fifteen seconds from my regular one minute ascending ritual.

The resulting cup, was very rich in taste, sharp take with a very complex, sweet~smokey~earth taste. It was as if they smoked this teas, shoveling caramels into the smoker, to infuse the two into this beautiful deep amber cup. The finish was harsh. I think I could of trimmed off a couple more seconds to grant me a bit more forgiving taste, but yet a very tasty cup.

This tea was enjoyable satisfying treat after my midterms.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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8720 tasting notes

Shared with me by a coworker…

I wanted to really enjoy this one because I do quite like what feels like a lot of aged oolong; and the smell of the dry leaf was actually incredible. Toasty and warm, with a sweet cocoa and nutty quality and a hint of cooked/stewed fruits? Intriguing!

Steeped, I did find I was underwhelmed with the taste though. The roast level was pretty nice; sort of medium to high roast with some cocoa element and nutty qualities; like a heavily roasted hazelnut/chestnut mix with some mineral elements. I didn’t really get any “plum” or fruitiness at all from the cup; in fact really the only other note was that weird sort of semi-creamy and herbaceous dill note that I sometimes get from more heavily roasted/oxidized oolongs that no one else ever seems to notice. Plus, the whole infusion just felt a little bit flat/dull. I think I just needed more; more nuance, “levels” of flavour, and some bitterness or acidity or something to give more life to the body of this sip. All in all, it felt kinda one note…

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91
1928 tasting notes

I didn’t expect this to be as dark as it is. The leaves have a green oolong roll going, but they’re more of a brown color and they smell pretty roasty.

Gaiwan. 195F. Rinse. 15 seconds +5 each time for subsequent steeps.

The liquor is an amber color and the tea smells mildy roasty. Interestingly, the wet leaves gave off a whiff of something very honeydew like.

The tea tastes very mild. It’s not a strong flavor, but it does have something interesting about it. There is a cocoa note of sorts, mocha maybe. But it’s a suggestion more than a flavor and it’s mixed with something fruity. The cocoa note is quite pronounced in the cup after the tea is gone.

I’m not sure I’ve had a candied plum, but if the fruity flavor I’m tasting is what they taste like, they’re delicious! This is a really special tea. It has a lot of complexity to it, just when I think I have a flavor pinned down it morphs into something else. I see that some other folks got dates — not really getting that but I’m on the look out for it. It is, though, a really wonderful combination of confectionery chocolate family flavors and fruity flavors.

What a lovely way to start the day!

Flavors: Cocoa, Fruity, Honeydew, Mocha, Plums, Roasted

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C

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86
258 tasting notes

Well this is quite an interesting tea. I bought this tea to pair with our book club selection of the month, Ready Player One. One of the main themes of this book is the love for anything and everything pop culture from the 1980’s. I finally decided that a tea aged from the 80’s would be a perfect pairing.

The dry scent from the bag smells faintly of an earthy chocolate. When I pour the hot water over the leaves, the chocolate mostly leaves but is replaced with a coffee scent. The earthy, musty scent stays and creates this very earthy coffee type of aroma. It kind of reminds me of a sumatra coffee.

The flavor of the liquid is fairly consistent with this. There is the roasty flavor that one would expect from a roasted oolong. There is that smoky coffee type of flavor. Also some musty/earthy flavor but not dominate or overpowering. And the liquor is smooth. Very drinkable but with that being said, I find this to be a sipping tea. There is some complexity here that makes you stop and contemplate the flavors on each sip.

To top it off, this tea may very well be older than I am. How cool is that? I found it to be a pretty reasonable price point as well, all things considered.

Edit: I forgot to mention that there is a bit of a drying sensation in the mouthfeel. Also, the aftertaste has a certain tartness to it that almost makes me think of an under ripe fruit that makes your mouth pucker up a bit. Nothing too strong but certainly there.

Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Musty, Roasted

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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16 tasting notes

Dry, it smells like dates and chocolate. I put about 5 grams in a 6oz gaiwan. After rinsing and letting the gaiwan lid rest over the leaves for a minute there is a more pronounced chocolate smell, like chocolate covered fruit and leather. The first few infusions (starting at 45 seconds and adding 15 to subsequent ones) gave a roasted, chocolaty with subtle peach flavor. It does have a drying quality in the back of the throat, though it is by no means unpleasant. In later infusions it begins to back off of the roasted flavor and becomes more fruity. I only got 4 infusions before it started to die out.

Flavors: Chocolate, Dates, Peach, Roasted

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 5 g

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