Charcoal Dong Ding


We love this tea. It is roasted by Charcoal Roast Master Zhan. Drinking his tea and learning from him inspired us to film a documentary. He is a living treasure of Taiwanese tea culture and a very wise man. The name he gave this tea is "The Twittering Mountain Spring".

When roasting Charcoal Dong Ding, Zhan finds a traditional style Dong Ding (like this one). Zhan's approach to roasting is both sensitive and spontaneous, following the natural inclinations of both the tea and the charcoal fire. This tea usually undergoes an amply heavy roast, but it is not roasted to add the superficial flavor of charcoal. The effect is that the tea is rearranged to tie up loose ends and tell a more complex story. Tea that he finishes becomes clearer, softer and deeper.


This particular batch was harvested in Winter of 2018, roasted three times in the course of a few months, and then left to sit and rest. It was re-discovered in April of 2020 and was re-roasted twice, once right before getting packed up to come to Seattle. The result is a tea that has fresh roasted notes that we expect from our Charcoal Dong Ding, but also a round fullness that can only develop by resting.

The scent is rich with roasty tones that color an almost fruity-fermented background. The broth is full bodied and viscous in a way that reminds me of booze. Both robust and well rounded upon impact in the mouth, the broth immediately reaches the throat with a warming sensation that travels down easily to the stomach. The mouthfeel is lively and leaves you with an almost mineral bubbly after-effect. This is a good way to see where Charcoal Dong Ding can go without having to wait two years. And if you have the patience to set aside a bag for another year or two, you've got a really solid head-start!


  • Harvest Location : Dong Ding, Nantou, Taiwan
  • Harvest Date : December, 2018
  • Final Roasting Date : June, 2020 (5 Roasts)
  • Farming : Unsprayed
  • Cultivar : Soft Stem [Ruan Zhi]


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