A traditional style of Dong Ding Oolong grown on Dong Ding mountain by our friends the Su family. They have been making this rich, hearty oolong with a dedication and adherence to traditional standards for generations. We are grateful for the tea and the wisdom of Mr. and Mrs. Su, as they have been a guiding presence in our life as well as our tea practice since 2008.
Traditional Dong Ding is withered in the sun, oxidized about 30% and given a medium roast to bring out its full aroma, grippy mouthfeel and throat warming aftertaste. We like this tea, not because it is bodacious like High Mountain Oolong or elegant like Oriental Beauty, but because it is solid, grounded and powerful. We call this the 'hero' tea of Taiwan.
This batch of Traditional A Dong Ding is slightly different. When Noah went up the mountain to visit the Su family and acquire some Dong Ding Oolong, he found Mrs. Su (who does the roasting) was not in good health. She has been teaching Noah to roast tea slowly over the last couple years, and because of challenges to her mobility, she asked Noah to do his own roasting for this batch.
Under the guidance of Mrs. Su, Noah spent a week roasting this Dong Ding Traditional A. The base comes from the same gardens, but any long time fan of this tea will notice there is something different about this batch. Just like two chefs will cook the same recipe with different results, this tea holds the mark of Noah’s essence on it. It is gentle, structural and soft with a prominent fruit note.
Broth is crystal clear with a rich, golden amber hue. Noah’s roast shows a different side of Dong Ding’s personality, but the warmth, the throatiness, the three dimensional broth and satisfying finish are all there. There is a unique delicacy in the structure of the tea, though, and it feels more fine boned.
We feel grateful to be a part of carrying on a lineage of traditional tea making techniques. We also feel fascinated to witness the clear effect our own hands and presence brings to the tea. It’s both a beautiful, scary, emotional and exhilarating moment for us. We feel the unyielding change that is life, and we feel the pride and humility in being a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.
- Harvest Location : Dong Ding, Nantou, Taiwan
- Roast Date : 2023 September
- Cultivar : Soft Stem [Ruan Zhi Zhong]
- Farming : Unsprayed