Friday, March 10, 2017

Origins Tea: Dong Ding, A Tea Review

Have I mentioned lately that Midwest weather is weird? I am pretty sure we are getting all the seasons this week. We had the spring storms, early summer warmth, super crisp vaguely autumnal nights...and tomorrow we get winter again! It seems we are going to be treated to a 'late' (we had a blizzard in May once, conventional seasons do not apply here) snow and ice storm which I hopefully will remember to utilize. I am happy about this, but I am pretty sure the flowers in the yard are not going to be, well except the forsythia, but I legitimately think that shrub could survive being lit on fire.

So on Wednesday I mentioned (read: whinged about) that I had a migraine. While the headache has been downgraded from migraine to skull-splitting nuisance, it still is getting in the way of my attempts at being a functioning person. So I decided to hearken back to one of my favorite methods for drinking tea when I have a headache, bowl style/grandpa style! Quick primer: you toss the leaves in a large cup or bowl, add water, repeat when emptied, it is the ultimate 'I feel like crap and don't want to put forth effort' method. I've read this method is also good for meditation, but that is not something I do, I can tell you it is good for when you are lounging though. So that is the fate reserved for Origins Tea Dong Ding, a lightly roasted Oolong that is both toasty and floral. The aroma is nutty and sweet, blending chestnuts and sesame with bamboo wood and brown sugar. There is a touch of yeasty bread and honey. In its dry form there are no flowers present, however, the gentle floral notes show up later.

At first you get lots of sweetness, like honey sesame candies and candied chestnuts, very much so an Oolong that is nutty and sweet, with a pleasant thickness and long lasting aftertaste of nuts. The more the leaves unfurl the more complex the taste gets, notes of distant lilacs and grilled peaches bring fruitiness and a touch of a stronger roast quality. The aftertaste becomes intensely sweet, leaving the realm of nutty and falling face first into warm wildflower honey and wow does the honey linger in my mouth for what seems like an eternity. The mouthfeel stays smooth but picks up a bit of dryness at the finish, one of the things I notice is a usually very smooth oolong tends to become a tad dryer when bowl steeped.

So hilariously, the aftetaste on this tea gets really quirky late into the refills, on the inhale it tastes of honey and the exhale coconut, I was probably way to entertained by this and started breathing weirdly because of it. The other day I had this tea gongfu style and thought it was quite solid, but I am really finding that it stands out brewed bowl style. It lasts many refillings, now I am going to take my mug of leaves and go grumpily nurse my headache in a darker room.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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