Review of Dong Ding Oolong Competition Grade III 2009

AromaFlavorValueTotal
8 of 105 of 54 of 580 of 100
ExcellentExcellentGood Value

This is the first medium-roast Dong Ding I've tried; prior to trying this one I've only tried the lighter roasted styles of Dong Ding, or medium-roasted oolongs of other styles. I like this one very much.

I did not have much leaf and only had one opportunity to brew this once, using multiple infusions, but the results were very good. I chose my brewing times based on how much leaf there was, trying to achieve a similar strength in each cup. This tea was astonishingly full-bodied in each infusion.

The aroma of the first infusion of 1 minute, was complex: it had a clear roasted quality, but there were floral undertones and a honey-like quality. There was a very slight bitterness, which I found pleasant, and for some reason, mentally associate with the roasted aroma.

The second infusion, which I made for a little longer, was very similar overall. Slightly less floral.

The third infusion, which I brewed for three minutes, took on a different character: noticably less roast in the aroma, less floral tones, and more herbaceous and earthy tones. There was almost a hint of straw in the aroma, unusual for oolongs, which I find tend to be more woody.

Fourth infusion I left for over 10 minutes and that was all I could get from this tea. Still less roast and floral tones, but both were still present. Still a hint of straw, a little more celery. Slightly more bitterness in this infusion: I suspect this is due to the long steeping time. No astringency, however.

This was not gong fu brewing but I am impressed, given the small quantity of leaf (I'd estimate about 3 grams) how many infusions I was able to make. This is a tea that I think would easily last through 8 or more infusions with the quantity of leaf typically used for gong fu brewing.

Not cheap, but I think reasonably priced given the quality.

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