I received a freebie of Lugu Competition Dong Ding with my order, so thank you Totem Tea :)
Gone gaiwan. 2.5g, 60mL, 200-190F, didn’t keep track of steeps.
The scent of the dry leaf was one note — roasted peanut butter. Warming and rinsing the leaf brought out notes of roasted peanut, brown sugar, something marine, wood and violet pastilles. The first several steeps were incredibly light and smooth, so much that I couldn’t pick out any distinct notes beyond basic descriptors like bitter, tart, floral and vegetal. Very little aroma. I did get some bottom of the cup scents of violet, hyacinth and brown sugar. The light bitterness grew ever so slightly and the vegetal taste revealed itself as banana leaf. Some roasted walnut also popped in. Around the sixth steep at 30s, astringency and a metallic tone came in. The tea continued to ride out its light demeanor until the end.
This is the most expensive oolong of Totem Tea’s current offerings. I have to say I’m grateful this was a freebie because the price is out of my range and it turns out I didn’t enjoy this tea too much. At this point, I consider myself a sufficient taster but I just couldn’t pull anything significant from this tea even with lowering the temperature. I would’ve gone higher but was thinking that might increase the bitterness and astringency. It reminds me of how LuckyMe feels about some other comapnies’ Imperial Grade offerings. Totem Tea described the Lugu Competition Dong Ding as having notes of open flowers, caramel, spiced plum and clove but the closest I came was an undefined floral note. Maybe somebody with a really refined palate can get more pleasure from this tea than I was able to.
They have some killer incense, though!! I purchased the sampler of all 12 varieties they sell (except I only received 11?). My favorites are Kalimantan Aloeswood (China), Young Sandalwood (Taiwan), Golden Gaze and Golden Walks (Mongolia), Sinking Night (Japan), Offering (Taiwan), and Frankincense (Taiwan).