Traditional Dong Ding Oolong Tea
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Nutmeg, cardamom aroma. Savory and pastry notes with a hint of honey. Floral, subtle spicy finish..
Garden: This batch of tea comes from Phoenix Village, next to Dong Ding Mountain in Lugu. Our source of Shan Lin Xi High Mountain Oolong harvests this from his family tea garden in their back yard and processes it the way his grandpa used to (but with the help of machines!).
Harvest: Winter 2022. Small batch. Hand-picked.
Elevation: 700 m
The flavor profile of this tea reflects the mastery that evolved from pre-modern tea producing methods — which our friend learned from his grandfather as a teenager. It's a rich, integrated fruity flavor profile with classic mineral notes, and a truly satisfying clean finish. This is the real deal when it comes to traditionally made Oolong Tea from Lugu, Taiwan.
This tea is harvested from a family plot of tea in the heart of Taiwan's Traditional Oolong Tea making region: Phoenix Village in Lugu Township. It's a small plot of Qing Xin Oolong right behind our friend's traditional home and factory that can be considered an heirloom strain as it was planted about 30 years ago. These trees are noticeably different than Qing Xin plants propagated in the last 10-20 years.
Tea farmers in this village and throughout Lugu Township most commonly processed their crops of tea in this fashion up until 30-40 years ago. This tea existed before the name Dong Ding Oolong was popularized by the Lugu Farmers' Association. It was simply the style of tea that was made locally, and gained popularity for its distinctive character. Traditionally, Dong Ding Oolong was not significantly roasted. It was simply a fairly well-oxidized Oolong Tea produced in this area.
The roasted factor developed as a result of tea merchants having leftover stock from the previous year or seasonal harvest. So this leftover tea would get roasted, and became an alternative selection to the newly harvested crop of tea on a seasonal basis. Consumers in turn developed a taste for this roasted profile, and it gradually became an item on its own.
But the original unroasted version of Dong Ding Oolong is somewhat of a local, underground secret. There simply is not a significantly widespread market demand for this type of tea. So it's only known and enjoyed by old school customers and local tea makers. It really is an under-represented specialty. But maybe that just how it should be!
Brewing Guide: 9g tea in 300ml 95°C water. Steep for 3 minutes. Re-steep. Adjust to taste.
Cold Brew: Use 8g of tea per liter of water. Brew tea at room temperature for 2-3 hours, and enjoy. Or you can put your cold brew bottle in the fridge to brew overnight and be ready to drink the next day.
Gongfu Brew: Use 10g for a 150 ml pot. Use boiling temperature water and brew for one minute, then 50 seconds on the second brew. Increase brewing time with each successive brew. The leaves can be brewed 6 times.