I usually don’t go for roasted oolongs, but bought 50 g of this Dong Ding due to its many good reviews and low price. It was the right decision, as I’ve been enjoying it all winter. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The dry aroma is of grain, roast, char, walnuts, and flowers. As promised, the scent of this tea is sweet and cozy. The first steep has notes of walnuts, roasted grains, butter, honey, and char. Nutmeg, orchids, other flowers, and grass emerge in steep two, and I can see how it could remind people of popcorn. The next steep has more spices and roasted nuts, but is also a bit drying. Steeps four and five continue with the florals, grass, honey, grain, and walnuts, but the dryness also persists. The roast becomes more noticeable in the final few steeps, though it isn’t too abrasive; I also get wood and minerals.
This is a solid, unpretentious, well-made Dong Ding that lives up to its “sweet scented” name. It’s one of the few roasted teas that I would consider repurchasing.
Flavors: Butter, Char, Drying, Floral, Grain, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Nutmeg, Nuts, Orchid, Popcorn, Roasted, Spices, Sweet, Walnut, Wood