Flavor: Toasted, nutty aroma. Amazingly balanced, smooth, mild roasted flavor. Rich, sweet, mellow aftertaste.
Garden: This batch of tea was procured from perhaps the most esteemed source of Alishan High Mountain Tea — Zhangshuhu. This village sits at the top of the valley on the northern slopes of the ridge that leads to Alishan Mountain.
Our friend, mentor, and ongoing supplier of tea, Mr. Xie, has offered us the privilege of representing his 3rd Place Prize tea in its registered competition packaging, while it lasts. When we visited him in his home, and got to taste a sample, there were only six boxes left unclaimed. They almost assuredly will be gone within a week.
Harvest: Hand-picked, medium batch, from Zhangshuhu, Meishan, Taiwan. Winter 2018.
Dong Ding Oolong is a medium oxidized, medium-heavily roasted tea with a hearty, complex, and robust character.
The initial steeping brings forth a complex bouquet of toasted pecans , and a touch of smokiness. On the palate, you get roasted sweet corn, nutty/fruity notes, and a tangy, rich finish.
This batch of Dong Ding Oolong is representative of some the highest quality tea in the world. It demonstrates the broad spectrum of character and flavors that can be captured by refined roasting techniques.
The Story of This Tea
These leaves were chosen by one of Taiwan's leading tea professionals who used his personal expertise in carefully roasting them to bring their flavor to its fullest potential of balance and richness. This professional works with local farmers in the renowned village of Zhangshuhu on an annual basis to produce batches of tea that win the highest awards of the largest Oolong tea competitions in the world. The leaves must be properly cultivated, and most importantly properly oxidized before being well roasted for the Lugu Farmers' Association Dong Ding Oolong Competition. Proper oxidation of the leaves results in a fuller flavor profile that offers a more balanced brew. It is also necessary for producing optimal results in roasting the leaves after they are rolled and dried.
Beginning in 1976, the Lugu Farmers’ Association developed the Dong Ding Oolong Tea Competition in an effort to preserve the value and quality of its local cash crop. This event has been developed over the last forty years to become the world’s largest and most prestigious Oolong Tea competition, with prize-winning teas demanding some of the highest prices of any Oolong Tea in the world. It is arguably the most impactful method of preserving the value and quality of a Traditional Oolong Tea that has been implemented in the history of Taiwan's tea industry. With well over 6000 entries per bi-annual competition, and first place prize winning tea currently attaining over NT$250,000 per jin (600g), it has brought a local traditional specialty product to unprecedented heights of value and quality.
The Lugu Farmers' Association Dong Ding Oolong Tea competition is the largest and most prestigious tea competition in the world. The recent winter competition had 6,777 entries, and this batch of tea won 3rd Place Prize! First Place Prize has a market value of nearly US$17 per gram, so each registered box of Champion Prize Tea containing 300g of tea leaves sells for about US$5000!
We are able to make this very limited offer of 3rd Place Prize for $999/300g.
Mr. Xie has been a high ranking player in Taiwan's tea competitions for many years, but this is the highest award he has received to date. We have shared the remainders of his award winning batches of tea exclusively with our Tea Cub members in the past. But this is first time we are offering an award winning tea in its registered competition packaging. Most of this award winning tea is purchased by collectors who store it for decades, since its value only increases with age!
Mug: 6g tea in 300ml 100°C water. Steep for 3 minutes. Re-steep. Adjust to taste.
Cold Brew: Use 5g 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.
Gong Fu: Barely cover the bottom of your Gongfu teapot with tea leaves (about 8-10g for a 175 ml pot). Use boiling temperature water and brew for about 50 seconds. Increase brewing time with each successive brew. The leaves can be brewed 6-8 times.