Tea: Dong Ding Oolong

A Jade Oolong from Tradition

Picture of Dong Ding Oolong
Brand:Tradition
Style:Jade Oolong
Region:Taiwan / Formosa
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Loose?Loose
# Ratings:4 View All

Review of Dong Ding Oolong

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 105 of 55 of 593 of 100
ExcellentExcellentOutstanding

This is an exceptionally strong tea: without a doubt, the strongest green oolong I have yet tried. Very little leaf is needed. While I've had Dong Ding with a more nuanced aroma, it was weaker overall, and I actually prefer strength, especially in this style of tea which can be a little too gentle for my tastes. The price on this is outright astonishing; I bought 100 grams for $7.69 and I've never had oolong of this quality for this price. Even better, I picked it up in a local store here in Delaware, the Newark Farmer's Market.

The dry leaf is less aromatic than Tradition's Ali Shan Oolong, and than a lot of Dong Ding I've tried. But even a brief rinse with water brings out a powerful and deep floral aroma. The leaves are very slow to unfurl. After a full four minutes of brewing in a large mug, they were still quite tightly rolled.

I've tried brewing this tea many ways and it is quite versatile. It works really well with mug brewing (I usually get 3 long infusions out of it), but a more gong-fu-style brewing yielded excellent results and brought out some of the nuances of the tea. Even using less than one teaspoon of leaf, I was able to extract 6 very strong cups. I recommend using longer than expected (1+ min.) for the first cup or it will be thin, and then following with shorter infusions. Brewing this way, the first cup was light in color and primarily aromatic, with an intense floral aroma. The second and subsequent cups were all more bitter and full-bodied. The later infusions gradually became less floral and more herbaceous, but the floral qualities persist to some degree through all infusions. Very smooth and pleasing finish.

Overall, the aroma is intensely floral, although slightly heavier than I'd expect from this style. Tones of honey and orchid. Very full-bodied for a Dong Ding. The deep herbaceous tones of later infusions are pleasing and remind me of celery, parsley, and ginger.

This tea has seriously raised the bar for me among Taiwanese oolongs of this price range, and even those of over double the price.

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