Review: Life in Teacup Dong Ding Oolong Traditional Greener Style

Life in Teacup, Oolong Tea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"I can see why this type of oolong lends well to a Gongfu-style approach. It colors and flavors quickly on splashdown, and each subsequent steep differs sharply from the last."
Geoff’s Teaview: 9.2/10
Other Teaviews: Rebecca gave it 8.5/10, Shaiha gave it 8.6/10
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Dong Ding - also known as "Frozen Summit" - is a Taiwanese oolong that takes its name from a village in Nantou County where the varietal of leaf is grown. The tea bushes in question were imported from the Wuyi Mountains - Fujian Province, China - the birthplace of oolong as we know it. Life in Teacup has several to choose from; all utilizing several different roasting processes. I opted for the greener.

And green, it was. The leaves were the typical kind I see for oolong, crumpled up like little meteorites of green. The aroma was typically oolong-y - dry, vegetal, with a shade of mint.

Brewing instructions called for a gaiwan or a small teapot. *sigh* Of course it did. Naturally, I had neither. What?! Gaiwans are expensive! Water temperature was to be near-boiling (203F), 5g of leaves per 120ml of water. The leaves could steep three times, no steep longer than twenty seconds, one minute between infusions. This was not an on-the-go tea.

As always, I also hated having to convert everything. Measurements for the leaves were in grams, not teaspoons. Water was liters...not fluid ounces. In Laymans terms, what they were asking for was 1 tsp of leaves per 4oz of water. WAY too many leaves as far as I was concerned, especially for oolong - green-style or no. I went with a heaping teaspoon in 8oz of 203F water steeped three times for twenty seconds.

The results...

The First Twenty Seconds: It was a relatively clear cup ringed on the sides by a jade green tinge. The steam was dry on the nose. Very much an oolong in character. Taste-wise, it was wonderfully berry-like with no astringency and a slight sweetness on the aftertaste. It had a lot in common with a Jing Mai white tea.

The Second Twenty: The infusion colored to a pale green, similar to a Chinese sencha-style green tea. The steam nose was more apple-like than its predecessor, while the flavor took on more of the smoked vegetable attributes of "Oolong Standard". Still, no astringency or bitterness.

Third Twenty: The liquor colored an even deeper green, more like a Longjing this time. Steam aroma was pleasant and floral with a creamy lean. The taste was like osthmanthus or chrysanthemum petals by way of magnolias. Sure, there was an oolong presence there, but it was a loudly floral cup. I was shocked.

Conclusion? I can see why this type of oolong lends well to a Gongfu-style approach. It colors and flavors quickly on splashdown, and each subsequent steep differs sharply from the last. Yet another reminder of why I need a gaiwan or something similar. Alright, I get the point.

— To purchase Life in Teacup Dong Ding Oolong Traditional Greener Style, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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