I admit it, I had to do some research on what “SDOF” stands for. It is “Severe Degree of Fermentation”, by the way. I developed all kinds of different phrases, like “Sun-Dried, Oxidized, Fired”. I was way off. Anyway, this review will focus on the SDOF Oolong tea from PT Harendong Green Farm, located in the Halimun Mountains area, Banten Province, Indonesia.
The sample packet has been opened, and I am being reminded of a Dong Ding wulong…
Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a dull, pale brownish-green color. The leaves are semi-ball shape. The leaves appear to be whole leaves and large fragments, some with stems intact. The oxidation level appears to be in the 50% range. The aroma is sweet and slightly spicy, with scents of brown sugar, molasses, sweet wood, and light cinnamon.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) ceramic infusion cup. Purified spring water was heated to 195°F (90°C). The leaves were infused for three minutes.
The first infusion produced a light golden yellow color with a very slight reddish tint. The aroma had scents of sweet wood, tree fruit (peach), and light honey. The body was light-medium, with a unique, thin honey texture. The liquor seemed to cling to the teeth and tongue, like honey. The taste had notes of wood, light tree fruit (peach), light honey, and light minerals (wet stones). The aftertaste had notes of light honey and flowers, and the sweet and flowery essence left on the breath was impressive.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a slightly darker shade of golden-yellow color and a very slight reddish tint. The aroma retained the sweet wood, light peach, and light honey scents. The body remained light-medium, and the texture was not quite as “honey-like”, but smooth and easy to sip. The taste changed a little, with the light honey and wood tastes melding together to make a sweet wood note, and the light peach and mineral notes being retained. The aftertaste remains sweet and floral, and the flowery essence continues to impress.
The third infusion produced a liquor with a golden-yellow color, and the reddish tint is no longer present. The aroma has lightened in sweetness, and has more of wood and mineral scents, with a light peach sweetness. The body remains light-medium. The taste has taken on mostly woody and mineral notes, and a very light peach hint. The aftertaste has mineral and floral notes, and the aftertaste remains impressive.
The infused leaves have a dark brownish-forest green color. There is a nearly equal distribution of large fragments and whole leaves, some with stems intact. Stems display a range of two to four leaves plucked, some with small buds. A few of the leaves display what I believe to be insect bites, which may help explain the honey-like aromas and tastes in the tea. The leaves have a thin, wet, leathery feel. The aroma of the infused leaves has scents of wood, wet forest floor, and minerals (wet stones).
I am very impressed by this SDOF oolong tea from PT Harendong Green Farm. I will definitely have to find a sample of two of Dong Ding oolongs from China and Taiwan and compare this SDOF to them. The taste had the wood and mineral tastes of Dong Ding oolongs, with fruity and honey-like notes that I do not remember getting out of some Dong Dings. This SDOF oolong gave three high quality infusions, and I am quite confident that I could have doubled the number of infusions had I not ran out of time today. The slight touch of reddish color was also interesting in this tea. I could certainly see this tea becoming a common product in my personal collection.
Thank you to PT Harendong Green Farm for the excellent sample and experience. Cheers!