Shown above is a Gong Fu brewing display of Batch 88 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club. Read about the source of this tea here. Dong Pian is the Chinese name given to a crop of tea that has been harvested significantly later than the normal winter harvest. Generally, it is comprised of the leaves that were too immature to pick at winter harvest, so they are allowed to continue growing, and picked later. These late winter crops are rare, and often have a distinctive character due to the weather conditions during their growing season. This batch is also bug-bitten, similar to Oriental Beauty and Concubine Oolong, and it was processed as a traditoinallly made Oolong Tea. These combined factors are why we are inspired to share this singular, exemplary batch of Taiwan Oolong Tea!
The hardy and substantial constitution of the tea leaves is evident in the thick stems and bulky shape of the rolled and dried leaves. Tea leaves that grow later in the year grow more slowly, producing a thicker leaf material. This is part of what makes a Dong Pian tea special.
Both the appearance of the brewed leaves and the brewed tea exhibit a skillfully made traditional Oolong Tea. The most essential aspect of this masterful processing is the significant and uniform oxidation of the leaves. This offers a bright, rich golden color and a luminescent, transparent appearance of the brewed tea. The brewed leaves are uniform in color, with noticeable oxidation that was induced with finesse. This all comes together to make an extraordinary cup of tea.
The combined factors of late winter leaf material that was affected by the Green Leafhopper, and cured by an elder artisan in the Lugu Oolong tradition produce a unique brew of Oolong Tea. The aroma that exudes from the tea pot between brews offers mildly savory, honey scone and buttery notes. The flavor profile is complex yet integrated to the point of making it difficult to name what is being experienced. There are hints of warming spices, roasted winter vegetables, buttery, pastry and honey/fruity notes. All of this gets finished with just enough bitter and astringent qualities to make the flavor profile linger and morph in the aftertaste. It's well-composed character makes a lasting impression, and one that never gets old. We are honored and proud to have found this batch of tea to share with the Tea Club!
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