Batch 77 of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is a Dong Ding Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea. As explained in our sourcing blogpost, Dong Ding designates the traditional tea making style represented by this place name, and Tie Guan Yin is the name of the tea cultivar. This tea has a particularly distinctive character that comes from a hardy, substantial strain of tea that is cured by traditional tea making skills and extremely labor intensive processing methods.
The physical constitution of the this heirloom strain of tea leaves is extremely sturdy, and tough. So they require a lot more manipulation to bring forth their composition. Namely, this means much more solar withering, indoor withering, as well as much more shuffling and tumbling. Finally, this batch of tea was roasted five times, for a total of more than 80 hours! In sum, these leaves require triple the time and labor that goes into a standard Dong Ding Oolong Tea. The same basic processing methods, but way more extensive!
The flavor profile is rich, bold and complex. It has a strong character that can be compared to a full-flavored Islay whisky. It is earthy, smoky and a bit briney — with mineral, tobacco, leather, and dried fruit notes. It really has one of the broadest spectrum of flavor notes we've experienced in a traditional Oolong!
The character of this tea expresses the dedication of this next-generation tea artisan who is truly embodying his craft to achieve a family recipe that not only clearly sets him apart from market grade oolongs, but even from his local neighbors and colleagues. He is usurping the resources of his inheritance to create a truly distinctive character of tea. We are deeply gratified to be in a position to support his efforts, and play our part in keeping this artisan craft alive and flourishing!
Watch the tasting video for this tea below.
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