Here is a sample from Taiwan that has been put aside for too long. Today’s review will focus on the Medium Roast Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Mountain Tea Company, based in Nantou County, Taiwan. I have covered Mountain Tea Company in several previous posts, so I will spare you all the redundancy.
The sample packet has been opened, and the classic roasty, robust scent of Dong Ding oolong is immediately recognizable. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves have a uniform dark brownish-green color. The leaves are shaped in the standard semi-ball form. The semi-balls consist of whole leaves with stems intact. I am assuming a pluck of three to four leaves per stem. There are no bare stems in the mix. The semi-balls have a dense, rigid texture. The leaves have been roasted, and appear to be in the 50% to 60% range in terms of oxidation level. The smell has scents of char, wood, raw cacao, light brown sugar, baked apple and toasted grains.
Three grams of dry leaves were placed in a five ounce (150 ml) porcelain infusion cup. Purified water was heated to 205°F (96°C). The leaves were infused for 4:00 minutes.
My suggestion for at home preparation is to use three grams for every six to eight ounces (180 to 240 ml) of water to be used. Heat water to 195°F (90°C). Steep the leaves for 2:00 to 2:30 minutes. Expect at least three or four quality infusions out of the same serving of leaves. Reduce second infusion steep time to 1:30, then increase to 1:45 for the third infusion, and 15 additional seconds to each subsequent infusion.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a bright, pale yellow color, clear and transparent, with a few course particles. The aroma had scents of char, wood, apple, brown sugar, and toasted grains. The body was medium, with a clean, gentle texture, and a refreshing effect. There is a very mild astringency when the liquor is hot, and diminishes as the liquor cools. The taste has notes of char, wood, mineral, apple, brown sugar, toasted grains, and apple blossoms. The aftertaste carries the woody and apple blossom notes, and a pleasant, lingering flowery essence can be felt on the breath.
The infused leaves have a uniform dark brown color with a light greenish tint. The leaves are mostly whole, although cracked and ripped from processing. The stems show a three leaf pluck. The leaves have a thin, wet leather texture. The leaves are smaller than I originally expected, with many measuring under one and a half inches (38 mm). Most of the leaves are long and narrow. I believe these leaves are from the Chin Shin (TTES 17) cultivar. The leaves have scents of char, wood, mineral, light apple, and light raw cacao.
The Medium Roast Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Mountain Tea Company has the roasty, sweet, and woody scents and tastes that are expected from roasted, highly oxidized oolongs. This tea is a great way to warm up the body on a cold day. The pleasant aroma and taste will be consistent through at least three to four infusions. The sweet and flowery essence is very enjoyable, and seems to last for minutes after the tea is swallowed. If you like roasted oolongs, then this is a reasonably priced tea that will satisfy what you are looking for.
Thank you to the sales team at Mountain Tea Company for providing this sample of Medium Roast Dong Ding Oolong Tea. Cheers.