Saturday, October 12, 2013

Teavivre, Superfine Taiwan Qing Xiang Dong Ding Oolong Tea

Teavivre Description:
In Taiwan Oolong Tea, Dong Ding Oolong Tea is an excellent kind highly praised by the world. Dong Ding is originally planted on Dongding Mountain, which is a branch of Phoenix Mountain, in Lugu Village, Nantou County, Taiwan. The tea is planted in the area at the altitude of 1000 meters. So this is also a High Mountain tea, which is known as its obvious floral fragrance. This Dong Ding Qing Xiang Oolong Tea is made of the tea leaves from Qing Xin Oolong tea tree. This tea has thick and soft leaf, refreshing tea liquid, with strong osmanthus scent. Meanwhile it has strong sweet aftertaste, which makes High Mountain tea more excellent than low altitude tea. The difference between Dong Ding Qing Xiang Oolong Tea and Moderately-Roasted Dong Ding Oolong Tea is the process of roast. Qing Xiang means that the tea is not roasted.

Sample provided by Teavivre.

My Review:
Oolong Fest continues with this Dong Ding oolong. Immediately upon opening the bag I had to  look this up. I have had Dong Ding before. The aroma out of the sample pack was nothing like I remembered. The last line of Teavivre's description cleared it up. This is Qing Xiang which Teavivre clarifies as meaning not roasted. The dry leaf has only a light oolong aroma and not the heavier charcoal I was expecting. I love learning and being surprised.

The pellets of this oolong appear tightly rolled and are typical of all the Taiwan oolongs I have tried thus far. Instead of the usual dry leaf picture, I decided to offer the wet leaf instead. Oolongs are pretty amazing. A few pellets in the bottom of your brewing vessel can swell enormously when wet. I lost my tea ball years ago and I advise you to do the same. Set the pellets free. They expand so much you can easily pour your cup without getting leaf in your cup.

I used the recommended parameters provided on the sample of one mug of boiling water (212 F / 100 C) and steeped initially for two minutes in my press. The leaf created a liquid forest in my press. The brew is golden with just a touch of green tint.

Oooh, this has a beautiful aroma and taste. After reading Teavivre's description I can definitely make the osmanthus connection. It is still unfamiliar enough to me that I doubt I would have been able to come up with a descriptor on my own. I would have called it something like floral/spicy. It is like it has a light touch of cinnamon and possibly ginger? The floral aspect is the strongest but natural and not overwhelming.

It is not bitter but I find it slightly drying. Again with this oolong my cheeks have a numb feeling from sipping. The aftertaste is sweet and lasts. The further into the mug I get the more the aftertaste develops the geranium taste I associate with oolong. However it does not dominate the mug. I am finding myself fascinated and captivated by this tea.

I quit after three 12oz mugs and this would easily go more. The green oolongs from Teavivre have so far all been light, fresh, floral, and sweet. Each is distinctively different and each has been delicious. On to the next!

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