Sitting down at the tea table with a fresh clean slate of an open mind, we brewed a Gongfu pot of Dong Ding Tieguanyin Oolong. We focused on noting the character, flavors and aromatic essences that we experienced in brewing the leaves of this unique batch of tea. The character of a tea can first be experienced in the aroma that wafts from the initial steeping. It offered a ripe-fruit, hearty, sweet aroma.
More about the character of a tea can then be seen in the brewed tea. Specifically, the degree of oxidation and roasting, and finesse in properly dehydrating the leaves. The transparency of the brewed tea shows that the leaves were evenly and fully dehydrated when cured, which offers a purity of flavor, and maximizes shelf life. The density and consistency of coloration indicates the the degree and proficiency of oxidation. The level of roasting is seen in the color gradation from golden yellow to deep red copper. This tea exhibits proper drying, a medium-heavy degree of oxidation, and a medium roast level. This is the unique aspect of this tea — integrating traditional Tieguanyin oxidation methods with Dong Ding roasting skills.
The flavor has a rich, tangy-fruity, roasted character with an orange/bergamot bouguet followed by a banana/molasses balanced sweetness/astringency in the aftertaste. The complex, full-bodied, flavor of this tea embodies the character of a traditional Oolong tea. And its distinct profile of flavor is a success in pioneering a new style in the Oolong tradition. The final analysis of a tea's character and quality is in the brewed leaves. Here we can get a better sense of the oxidation level, the quality of the leaves, and the efficiency in which they were harvested and cured.
Please share your experience of this tea with us by posting a comment here or by posting your own tea tasting video on youtube. We truly are interested in hearing what this tea offers you and how it compares and contrasts with your experience of Oolongs of a different character.
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We recently visited Mr. Liu when we hosted a visitor from Italy who was keen on experiencing the local tea culture. Our guest was truly elated to be served tea by a true artisan of the trade. Mr. Liu served us three different teas that were all locally harvested this past spring. They varied only in their degree oxidation and roasting. And the one that was sufficiently oxidized, but only lightly roasted, immediately impressed us.