Monday, August 9, 2010

Floating Leaves' Spring 2010 Traditional Dong Ding Oolong

About a week ago, I made it over to Floating Leaves (for the first time in way too long) to visit my friend Shiuwen and to sample some of her Spring 2010 Taiwanese oolongs. I also picked up an ounce of four different teas to drink throughout the next couple months.

One of these four new teas is called Traditional Dong Ding (凍頂) and it's the tea that I'll be reviewing today.

The dry leaves on this Dong Ding are large irregular clusters with lots of fat stems. They are a lovely mix of forest green, light green and gold colors and yield a fresh, nutty aroma. I would say that both the oxidation and the bake on this oolong are at a medium level.

This tea was brewed in a medium gaiwan with the bottom of the vessel thinly covered with leaf. I used boiling hot water and started by giving the leaves a quick rinse. Because the smell of the freshly rinsed leaves was really rich, toasty and charcoal-y, my palate was expecting a pretty roasty beverage.

The first infusion presented a beautiful honey-gold colored liquor and while its aroma was predominantly toasty, I felt like the actual flavor in my mouth was more floral and fruity.

Some baked oolong flavor notes did poke their heads out a little bit, especially in the second and third infusions, but after the fourth infusion they were mostly gone from the palate and elusive in the nose. I also detected notes of blackberry, apple, malt, caramel corn and rye.

This tea has great body and feels wonderfully substantial and thick in my mouth. It also has a pleasant lingering aftertaste.


CindyW said...

It was nice to read your notes on this tea -- I've been enjoying it this summer. Jan shared some with me after her trip to Taiwan with Shiuwen, and I ordered more once Shiuwen's teas arrived for Floating Leaves. It is the dong ding I wrote about in this post:

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