Sunday, January 28, 2018

Tillerman Tea: Dong Ding Roasted Winter 2017, A Tea Review

Name: Dong Ding Roasted Winter 2017

Company: Tillerman Tea

Type of Tea: Roasted (40%) Dong Ding Oolong, Qing Xin cultivar

Description of Dry Leaf: Tightly rolled and dark brown, you can definitely tell this is a heavily roasted tea, some of the leaves look quite large and have a few stem bits still attached.

Aroma of Leaf: Nutty! Like roasted chestnuts and peanuts with a bit of honey sesame candy, very strong roast with a lot of underlying sweetness. No char notes, just roast and strong nutty notes. It is the kind of Oolong I want to spend all day sniffing, assuming that day is late autumn or winter and I am wrapped up under a blanket.

Aroma of Tea: Sweet and nutty, like toasted sesame and chestnuts, or roasted peanuts and honey on a piece of toasted heavy grain bread. Very warm and filling smelling, these heavily roasted Oolongs always make me feel like I am about to sit down to a very hearty meal.

Preparation Style: I am a bit under the weather, not as sick as I thought I was going to be after Ben woke up half dead with what seemed like the flu. Luckily for me I have just been my usual Fibro self and a bit sniffly with more of a headache, I can work with that! However when I am feeling a bit blech, my favorite method for brewing (since I usually don't like sitting at my desk, I really need a new chair, my current one is trying to kill my back) is good old reliable grandpa or bowl style. Toss some leaves in a bowl or mug, add water, drink around the leaves, refill until leaves stop having a taste. It is an immensely convenient way to brew tea and it gives you an interesting perspective on how a tea changes over time.

Taste: This is a really REALLY good tea for bowl steeping, holy mackerel! It is so sweet, like toffee and roasted chestnuts, honey drizzled toast, a touch of autumn leaves, and a hint of very distant lily flowers. It has a pleasant buttery thickness, that is really soothing when your throat is scratchy, and it has a warming chaqi, drinking it is like wearing a fuzzy robe on a snowy morning. Later after the leaves have really unfurled and it starts to get really strong, the tea tastes like grilled fruit and lychees as well as all the toasted nutty goodness.

Oddball Notes: You might have noticed that I did not use one of my big bowls for steeping this, well bad news everyone, my teaware might seem a bit same-y for a bit as I am getting ready to move soon and packed up the non-essential teaware. So right now all I have out is the stuff I use the most and a few all-rounder pieces, like the mug I am using today. It is neat, got it for a quarter in Madison at the Dig-n-Save thrift store. I got it because I forgot to bring a decent cup with me when I traveled there and it has become one of my favorite cups. Everyone keep their fingers crossed that Ben gets his work transfer in time so I don't have to move across town for a few months and THEN to Madison!

How I Acquired The Tea: Sent for review

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