Dong Ding Oolong, 30 years of age
Thank you to Benoit for sending me a tea that I don’t have much experience with. All of the Dong Ding that I’ve had thus far has been ultra green, bright, and sweet. I normally enjoy such teas but I find that they dry my skin out, make me a bit jittery, and after a few steeps the grassy or vegetal notes put me off. This is a well-roasted 30 year-old example which doesn’t have any of the above-mentioned problems.
5g in a 60ml porcelain gaiwan
The dry leaf has a light fruity ginseng-shop smell to it. The wash smells of roast, with a lot of jammy sweetness. The wet leaf has a rich woody sweet chocolate aroma, with a touch of fresh tobacco.
Initially, the tea is quite roasty in flavour, with a sweet aftertaste. The sweetness really comes in the aftertaste as a coating of the tongue and throat. Inspiring energy flows in right from the first steep. There is a remarkable buzzing sensation about the whole body, especially in the legs and face. A kind of soft cottony buzzing pressure feeling.
In the second and third steeps, there is some acidity or juiciness, very nice. Strongly heating, and increasing the buzzing sensation.
By the fourth and fifth steeps, the huigan is extremely strong. Complex dark sweetness.
Many more late steeps come out beautifully, and the roast seems to keep it from turning vegetal. Definitely there is no annoying green aspect to it. I did one very long late steep and this was spectacularly good, with rich black cherry sweetness.
Very impressive example of how a clean aged and well-roasted Dong Ding can be. I could describe it as intermediate between a 10-year old sheng puerh and a well roasted Wuyi yancha.