Dong Ding Tieguanyin Oolong Tea | Eco-Cha Tea Club
We recently received this question from Eco-Cha Tea Club member Paul in Norway:
For the tea of the month you said "integrating traditional Tieguanyin oxidation methods with Dong Ding roasting skills." I was wondering if you could describe this process in more detail?
Basically, traditionally made Tieguanyin is a heavily oxidized, heavily roasted tea. The leaves are allowed to oxidize for at least 2 days after being harvested, and reach around 50% oxidation before they are exposed to high heat to kill the live enzymes in the tea leaves that are responsible for the oxidation process.
This batch of Tieguanyin was oxidized somewhat less than the standard traditional Tieguanyin methods, but much more than the standard oxidation of tea leaves that are being made into a traditional Dong Ding Oolong. So the oxidation level and the procedure involved is somewhere between Dong Ding Oolong and Tieguanyin, but closer to Tieguanyin.
After the leaves are processed (dehydrated, oxidized, rolled and fully dried), both of these tea types undergo extensive roasting to achieve their distinct character. However, the roasting methods for these two tea types are quite different. These leaves were roasted as a standard Dong Ding Oolong.
So it is both in the adjusted level of oxidation that is between these two tea making methods, and the alternative roasting method of using the Dong Ding Oolong style rather than the Tieguanyin style that this tea embodies an integration of traditionally made Oolong tea. The leaves from the Tieguanyin strain have a distinct flavor that can be adjusted according to the processing methods used. We think this just might be a newly discovered and relatively ideal way to bring out the best of what these leaves have to offer.
Last, but not at all least — we are really interested in what you have to say about your experience of this tea. What does this new breed of traditional Taiwanese Oolong tea mean to you? What else would you like to know about it?
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Also in News
Eco-Cha Tea Club's batch #48 is Alishan High Mountain Black Tea. It has a very balanced, integrated flavor profile, and offers subtle notes of a Qing Xin Oolong. The brewed leaves still have a greenish hue, even though the stems are quite reddish, indicating nearly full oxidation. It is an interesting hybrid of tea types, but definitely acts more like a Black Tea made from the small leaf type Qing Xin strain.
This very small fall harvest of naturally cultivated Oolong leaves was painstakingly processed by a father and son team who are top representatives of their local tea industry. The most inspiring fact is that the son is wholeheartedly inheriting his family's tradition, and this small batch of tea is testimony to that.
The name "Hong Shui (Red Water) Oolong" has been a buzzword in Oolong circles in recent years. But the tea makers who have inherited their local tradition say that this is simply a new name for tea processed like their grandfathers taught them. It used to just be called "Oolong Tea"!