Review of Superfine Taiwan Moderately-Roasted Dong Ding Oolong Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
9 of 105 of 54 of 590 of 100
SuperbExcellentGood Value

Definitely among the best oolongs I've sampled. Exceedingly pleasant, easy to brew and drink, and I'd imagine it would also be being pretty accessible.

This tea is marked as "moderately roasted"; it seems to tend slightly toward the greener side., close to what I've seen called a "traditional green" oolong, or a light amber oolong rather than a moderate roast.

The dry leaf is pleasantly aromatic, with tones of honey and wood, and faint floral tones. Upon brewing, it smells almost identical, but stronger; the floral tones come out more and they slightly suggest orchid, although not as much as the intensely green oolongs. It has a rich, thick mouthfeel, with only a slightly astringent finish, just enough to create a very pleasant sensation. Flavor is sweet, with little bitterness, and a slight sourness. There are a hint of skunky tones, which I actually found enjoyable.

The second infusion is strong, and tastes a bit darker: it has more skunky tones, and a very clear character, but bold flavor. It is more bitter and less astringent. It was my favorite infusion regardless of how I varied the steeping times.

If I used shorter initial steeps, I was able to get a third infusion, which seemed to revert back to the overall character of the first: more astringency but more subdued flavor. The used leaf seems to have a soapy smell but thankfully, none of this comes out in the cup.

I experimented a bit with brewing, but did not try gong fu brewing. I found very little leaf was necessary to produce a flavorful cup; I found my favorite way to brew this was to use less than a teaspoon of leaf, brew for 2 minutes, followed by a single, long infusion of about 5 min. Alternatively, using just over one teaspoon, I found brewing for 1 minute, then 2, then 5+ worked well. This tea was easy to brew and small changes in brewing didn't affect the flavor much.

At $27 for 3.5 ounces, this tea is pricey. But it's a top-quality tea though, it definitely has the quality to back the price. The leaf stretches pretty far too.

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