Saturday, November 7, 2015

Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company: 'Old Style' Dong Ding Oolong, A Tea Review

Today has been a painting day, working on finishing up the miniatures for people's Christmas gifts, specifically the people whose gifts get mailed away, and I happen to almost be finished. I think that after I finish with these I am going to break into assembly mode and put together the ships from Dreadfleet, the newest addition to Ben and my gaming library. He was a sweetheart and bought it, see a year ago my local gaming shop had a copy of it and I was going to buy it after saving up a good bit of money...and the day I finally had enough to buy it, someone bought it. So we have been hunting it on ebay and found it for a steal, which is awesome since that game has been out of print for a while. Yay for crazy ships!

For today's tea I am looking at Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company's 'Old Style' Dong Ding Oolong, a Taiwanese Oolong made in the form that was all the rage thirty years ago, nothing like keeping tradition alive. It is also nice to see Dong Ding outside of my usual sought after roasted form, because you cannot have a good roasted oolong without a good green oolong to start with. And the leaves are big, with hearty stems and rich emerald greens, yeah with leaves this big I am going to need a big gaiwan. The aroma of the leaves is really sweet, buttery and creamy, notes of sesame custard and chestnuts, and flowers. Of course there are flowers, honeysuckle and hyacinth, with very gentle lilac note at the finish. Flowery and sweet, just the way I like it!

So, about that big gaiwan, yeah, it is time for the golden flower queen! The aroma of the unfurling leaves is pretty potent, very strong notes of spicy lilies and hyacinth, with strong buttery undertones, and a gentle vegetation note at the finish. The liquid is wonderfully sweet, strong notes of lilies and hyacinth, honeysuckles and lilac. Underneath the flowery burst is gentle sweet creaminess and a touch of vegetation.

The first steep starts out with a great creamy texture, it is silky and smooth, and that smoothness wanders into the taste as well. It starts with a light creamy taste, like custard and chestnuts (can chestnut custard be a thing?) It then moves on to a cascade of flower nectar sweetness, lilacs and honeysuckles dance over my tongue, with a finish of gently spiced lilies. The aftertaste lingers for quite a while.

Second steeping time, the aroma is sweet and flowery, notes of chestnut and honeysuckles, lilacs, and lilies...lots of flowers going on there. The taste is buttery and sweet, the texture is buttery and thick, it coats the mouth thoroughly. The taste starts with sweetness, honeysuckle nectar and flower blossoms, chestnut sweetness, and a finish of vegetal brothiness that gives a slightly savory finish to the tea.

Third steep, and wow, these leaves, they are so big! I feel like I could wear them as a hat or something, use them as a sunshade on a summer day. The aroma is still going strong with sweet flowery notes, so many flowers, lilacs, honeysuckles, hyacinth, it is like a spring bouquet. The taste is still quite flowery, though the green notes that showed up previously are now stronger, like fresh vegetation and summer growth. Combine that buttery chestnut sweetness and you have a really good tea, I can certainly say this one made me re-think my tendency to prefer roasted Dong Ding.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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