Monday, July 16, 2012

Peony Tea S, Dongding Oolong

In spite of its curious sounding name in English, the Dong Ding Oolong is one of the most well-known and beloved teas from Taiwan. It’s strong rich flavor and lingering aftertaste has enchanted countless drinkers across the generations.

This is my third sample from Peony Tea S. Their teas have all been of high quality. Their packaging is very nicely done. Along with the samples I was given a wooden spatula to measure the leaf. I found an article on Peony Tea S's website that explained how to properly use the spatula. I am using it everyday as it allows me to get a scoop of long delicate leaf without mangling it in the package. At this time the spatula comes with your first order. This is a nice touch.

This particular tea comes from Lugu Nantou, Taiwan. The picture is a good representation of what is in the package. Dry pellets smell light and fresh with a slight tobacco leaf scent. I used 1 spatula (approx 4g) placed in my French press and steeped for only 45s with 195F water.

The liquor is very clear and light green. After pouring I took a whiff of the wet leaf. It smells dark and of charcoal. I found the first cup to be lightly charcoal flavored. It was also had notes that were lightly floral. Most of the oolongs I have sampled lately have a bright distinctive floral taste, especially in the lingering aftertaste. This one was what I would call a darker floral.

With the second cup the leaf is not completely unfurled but that is a lot of leaf floating in the water. This cup has a deeper richer charcoal flavor. The oolong floral notes are slightly brighter. This is really good. The liquor is a pretty amber.

On the third cup, I forgot to pour it up. I steeped maybe 10 minutes. Sadly it is bitter and mushroomy. The color of the brew is orange.

On day 2 I used a new spatula of leaf and tried again. I steeped the first cup for two minutes today and got something a bit different than last time. The charcoal smoke flavoring is the most obvious flavor. Beyond the obvious is a grainy bread flavor. This may be what the company description is calling caramel. Occasionally I got hints of cinnamon. At one point and ever so briefly, there was a fruity flavor that immediately made me think peach. It didn’t last long and did not repeat. This never develops anything approaching a tiguanyin oolong taste or bright floral notes like the alishan oolongs. It does have a lingering sweet aftertaste and offers a nice cooling sensation on the breath.

The second cup, like yesterday’s is the best. The flavors are just more developed but similar to the first. I have to admit to over-steeping the third cup again. Like yesterday this is mushroomy when hot. Once it cooled down the flavor returned to more oolong like.

In summation this is a nice Dongding. Just don’t forget the timer on the third steep.


  1. I wanna learn how to properly pulvoraize tulsi herbal plant which I want it to look like this one tulsi, I'm thinking that mixing two kinds of tea like greent tea and tulsi tea together with a honey and I wanna find out how it will turn out. Can you give me a step by step instruction about this one?

    1. I use just the flowers but you can use the leaves as well. You can dry the plant by hanging it up or use it fresh. It is not necessary to pulvorize it.

  2. Thanks for this! I recently purchased a Dong Ding tea from, and it is a beautiful tea!

    1. I have been getting quite an education in oolongs lately. I quite like them!

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