Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sanne Tea, Dong Ding Oolong

Sanne Tea Description:
Dongding Oolong is one of the most famous Taiwanese teas. Most people know that Dongding Oolong Tea is grown in Lugu Township, Nantou County. However, in fact, only the tea grown in Yonglong, FengHuang, and Zhangya Villages in Lugu Township can be called "Dongding Oolong".

This farmer's family lived in FengHuang Village for generations. His Dongding Oolong has won several prizes in Taiwanese Dongding competitions. The tea was baked with Longen in a light baking process, perfect for multiple brews. The tea leaves were rolled in a semi-sphere shape and have deep green color. When brewed, the tea is light amber almost golden color.

Sample provided by Sanne Tea

My Review:
Sanne Tea, as of this writing, has not officially opened their doors for business. This sample was sent for review and feedback.

The sample arrived in a small resealable pouch. It is foil backed with a clear plastic face. Suitable for temporary storage or far away from light. The sample was enclosed in a pretty cardstock envelope that gave it added protection in storage and shipping. Also included was an information card listing all kinds of things including the harvest date and cultivar.

The leaf is typical hand rolled nuggets of leaf with partial exposed stems. When I say typical, I mean that with great respect. Once you see the size of the leaf and stems, you have to be in awe of the talent of the artists who hand roll each nugget.

I used the entire sample. I am not sure how much was in it. I do think I could have used only half but chose not to do so. The leaf was placed in my freshly cleaned clear glass teapot where the nuggets soaked up the moisture left in the bottom.

With all the information provided there was not any brewing instructions. This is a lightly roasted oolong so I decided upon 200 F and a one minute steep with 5 ounces of water.

As you can see, after just the first steep the pot was very full of leaf and they have not even fully relaxed at this point.

I poured the liquor into my cup and noticed it is far more yellow than Sanne Tea's description of amber almost golden.

I forgot to mention how floral the dry leaf smells. Really, I am not a fan of highly roasted oolong, which is what I originally expected. This is lovely. Just the wonderful aroma is making me hungry. After steeping it is only intensified.

Oh, I love the taste. I am not really catching a roasted note at all. Instead, I am catching the orchid like floral notes, followed by a passing buttery popcorn flavor. There is also a spice note hanging out, more in the background, that I can't quite identify. I think it is along the lines of nutmeg. Very nice.

There is no bitterness or rough edges to this tea. Maybe a slight drying, but I am pretty immune to such things so it is a bit of a guess. The aftertaste grabs and lingers with that viney note I always call geranium.

I could drink this often. To my tastes, this is what oolong should taste like.

The second cup was also steeped at one minute. It is a little darker and leaning more towards golden in color. I had to abandon the cup before it cooled because time got away from me. While hot, the flavor was a lot less complex and more plant like than the first cup. The flavor was pretty intense so I know it would steep more times. I just can't tell you how it will taste. The first cup though was fabulous.

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