drank Dong Ding by Allison Tsui
300 tasting notes

Okay I’m moving my tasting note over to the page Mercuryhime created to be more concise and deleting my old tasting note from 12 days ago. So sorry for the repost on your feed.

First a huge thank you to allisontsui for her generosity and hospitality in sharing three teas from Taiwan with several Formosa lovers on Steepster! This package arrived a couple days after I had gotten my samples from Nuvola and I had already brewed their delicious Dong Ding (review coming soon) so I opened this one first. Unfortunately I could tell just from feeling the 5 gram packet that the leaves were crushed. There were maybe half a dozen whole to partial pearls and quite a bit of dust, so sad it seems to have suffered the damage on its journey.

Still I treated the leaves with respect and brewed them gongfu being sure to put a fine mesh strainer over my cup, but even this let quite a bit of sediment through. Still the first cup was quite nice, it had somewhere between a woody to floral aroma, it was less charcoal and mineral than the orchid oolong I had been drinking earlier that day, but still had a nice light roast to it with some greener notes. Floral is what stood out to me the most, thought it wasn’t like a scented or intentionally floral blend, just very pleasant and soothing.

Unfortunately this first infusion was the only one worth drinking. It pains me to write this since the tea was given so generously, but try as I could to reinfuse this, no amount of temperature lowering or time adjusting could save these leaves from turning astringent. By the third infusion it was unpalatable and I had to pour it out :( Dong Ding/Tung Ting is a tea that in my limited experience (recent order from Nuvola, sample from Fong Mong and a wonderful yixing session at Essencha Tea House) has been a very unique, generous and forgiving tea.

I cannot speak to the quality of this tea before it was shipped, but I would urge everyone who swaps tea to package in a padded envelope or box where applicable as this one was rendered to bag quality. I will be trying the other samples this week and sending Allison some of my Dong Ding from Nuvola as well. I am glad I got one good cup out of this though.

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Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

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Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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