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Spring 2019 Medium Charcoal Roast Nantou DongDing Oolong (100g)

Spring 2019 Medium Charcoal Roast Nantou DongDing Oolong (100g)

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December 25th, 2019

This Dongding is from a company I work with in Taiwan that produces this tea under their own label. This tea meets all Taiwanese pesticide standards, and the company is certified for ISO-22000(2005) standards for Food Safety Management Systems.

I've only had a few good roasted Dongding over the years: one was brought over to me personally by Tony of Origin Tea before he started Origin Tea, and was some truly excellent lao cha. The second was from a producer whose father was renowned for his Dongding. Unfortunately, I felt the second Dongding, while very clean, was lacking in complexity. In my opinion, the tea I'm offering today is a top notch Dongding and has lots of character and complexity.

I decided to test this tea out in Purion (80ml shuiping). The dry leaf smells sweet, with light caramel and sweet roast notes. When I loaded the preheated pot, chocolate and oatmeal cookie notes arose, as well as roast notes and classic Qingxin character. The roast was still quite fresh when I first tried this tea a few weeks ago. 

The first infusion was a suprise: the liquor was lighter than the color of the leaf and the roasty aromas would imply. I got a pleasant barley note with alluring sweet floral complexity in the cup, as well as milk. The liquor reminded me of sweet malted milk (perhaps a milkshake, or Horlicks, for those who are familiar with it) with sweet floral character. This is a smooth, clean tea.

The second infusion brought osmanthus to the forefront, as well as light agarwood and prominent mineral notes in the finish. Full boil brought out very light and pleasant bitterness: I prefer this tea at 95 Celsius. I also detected some passionfruit in the liquor.

This tea has a pronounced calming effect, which is always very welcome.

Full boil for the third infusion brought out some light astringency as well. While still very pleasant, I think this tea is definitely better brewed at 95 Celsius, although I'd suggest trying slightly higher temperatures as well for the additional aromatic complexity that could be brought out.

The barley note was more prominent as the tea cooled in the later infusions, but osmanthus was definitely the dominant note from the second infusion onwards. I also got some almond notes in the finish, which I get from Wuyicha. It turns out Qingxin was brought down to Anxi from the Wuyi mountains to meet export demand, and these cuttings or seeds were later taken across to Taiwan as well!

This is a really good charcoal roast Dongding that I am very happy with, and very proud to offer. Please note the vendor will offer 2020 tea next year. Once the tea is ready for sale, I will update this product listing.

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