Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #26: Dong Ding

Bad joke of the week: What does a confused Avon lady say? Answer: "Dong Ding, Avon calling!" (Insert groan here.)

But hallelujah, the hard-to-find Dong Ding has indeed arrived, fresh from China, so now I can get back to tasting my teas in order, like God and Michael Harney intended.

And on a side note, today marks the halfway point for the year of tea tasting. I've already learned so much, I'm looking forward to the second half!

Category: Oolong Tea

Purveyor: TeaSpring

Dry leaf appearance: HUGE balls of tea leaf with some stems apparent.

Wet leaf appearance: Large, whole tea leaves, with lots of stems now apparent.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 205 degrees, 4 minutes.

Scent: I had to sniff this for a long time before I realized the scent I was reminded of was boiled peanuts.

Color: Light gold.

Flavor: This tea didn't seem to bear any resemblance to the other oolongs I've been tasting. The flavor reminded me of Chinese greens, and with the 4 minutes of steeping I had quite a bit of bitterness and astringency. I steeped the leaves again for 3 minutes and found that cup of tea much smoother, with a nice taste, but it still had lots of "pucker" afterwards. I didn't hate it or anything, but this would not be a favorite.

Additional notes: From the Harney book: "Along with Wenshan BaoZhong, Dong Ding is Taiwan's most famous and beloved oolong and most likely its first."

Next week's tea: Fenghuang Shuixian


  1. Wow, I can't believe you are half way through the tea tasting.

    It always seems strange to me when I come across a loose tea that has stems in it. It makes me wonder why they are included (for flavor, ease of harvesting, or what?).

    Thanks for this interesting review of Dong Ding. :)

  2. Must tell you that this morning I tasted a tea plucked from bushes near Charleston. You may want to visit the Caw Caw Interpretive Center next time you are in this area. The understory of the forest is made up of tea bushes gone wild.

  3. I'm glad the Dong Ding tea finally arrived. And I agree with parTea Lady, I can't believe you are half way through the tastings.

  4. I think they include the stems as it makes the tea cheaper.
    The very expensive teas are supposed to have no stems or less of them I think...


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