A big thanks to Kate at Sagaci-tea for writing about her experience with Eco-Cha Dong Ding Oolong. She likes it! Have a read of her review at the link below.
"The first sip is bold, with roasted nutty flavours and a fantastic mouthfeel - buttery vanilla but with also some citrus tartness. The floral notes come out a bit later, with some orchid and red grapes, and a suggestion of cinnamon and nutmeg. The aftertaste is a citrus tartness, and there's no astringency.
It's a deeper and darker Dong Ding, and wonderfully interesting, I'm really enjoying it."
These leaves were harvested by hand from the residential farm that is our ongoing source of Dong Ding Oolong Tea. They were also de-stemmed by hand and roasted extensively to meet the competition standard. The brewed tea has a bold roasted character that is balanced out by a rich, smooth textured and complex flavor profile. It is reminiscent of fire-roasted yams and butternut squash.
This month's edition of the Eco-Cha Tea Club is from the same day's harvest of spring tea that our source received the Top 2% Award out of 750 odd participants in the spring 2019 competition. This month's batch of tea was prepared the same way as the award winning tea — removing the stems by hand and undergoing repeated roastings to meet the standard of quality set by this local competition. Only residents of this small community of traditional tea makers are eligible to enter this competition. But this is the heart of Dong Ding Oolong Country, and this community boasts the densest population of traditional Oolong Tea artisans in Taiwan, and probably in the world!
The complex aroma of the brewed tea leaves has subtle hints of a bug bitten character, but not very obvious. The sufficient oxidation offers a fresh scone scent, with a touch of honey, making us think that there is some influence from the Green Leafhopper. It is very likely that this note is subtle due to the fact that it had rained very near harvest time, which is said to dilute or dissipate the chemical compounds that are responsible for this character of flavor. The texture is smooth and balanced, with delicate complexity.