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Recent Tasting Notes
Thanks Purrfect Cup!
This smells a little like a gentled cracked pepper and a little like veggies but neither are a very loud aroma.
The liquor color is a yellowish-light brown.
The flavor is an involved one. It’s a nice surprise. It’s a combo of a rock/charcoal tasting oolong, sweeter nutty & vegetal notes, and a hint of cracked pepper. It has a nice maltiness to it for an oolong. It has a nice kick to it! Very nice!
Thanks Purrfect Cup! This is great! Another new-to-me tea/company!
This leaf is so delicate! Once infused – the aroma blows me away! It was vegetal and savory and I agree that it totally resembles the scent of Bok Choy! Wow!! And now that I taste it…it sort of tastes like Bok Choy, too! This has a distinct flavor. I really like this! Two thumbs up!
I knew I was in for a gamble going for a black tea, since I’m “not into black tea,” but I liked what I heard in the description/video and the gamble really paid off! Maybe I have to re-think my position on black teas, since I’ve found a few that I’ve really enjoyed. I guess it just took a long time to get the astringent taste of the common irish / english breakfast teas out of my mouth.
This tea has a really nice lightness to it compared to most of my experiences with black teas. I was a bit light on the leaf in my first attempt as a precaution before going all in, so I can’t wait to give it another go with a full leaf portion. I definitely got the cherry hints mentioned in the description. It holds up great over many infusions (I think I’m on 5 or 6 right now, and I’m too tea-full to go on). I brewed with a gaiwan and followed the brewing instructions on http://chanteas.com/hunan
Great tea, and also pretty economical. I can definitely see drinking this regularly.
So, this is going to sound insane, but I actually stumbled onto a pretty nice quality of this tea (or maybe strongly roasted teas in general). I had my last bit of dong ding in my gaiwan and I was really only prepared to drink 3 gaiwans worth of tea, so after I finished I decided to try to cold brew the rest since earlier that day I pulled out my iced tea pitcher. I let it sit overnight, got home from work the next day and gave it a taste. It was actually pretty darn good considering the circumstances, but I noticed that the roasted flavors tasted a lot like something I’d had before…. it took a few sips to place it then I realized that it had that unique quality that “thai iced tea” has when you get it from a thai restaurant, you know the kind that is all orange looking and super sweet? Well, seeing as I had some almond milk in the refrigerator I thought “what the hell” and tried to mix up a thai iced tea. A few experiments with proportions and a spoonful of sugar later and now I’m sitting here with a pretty tasty approximation of a thai iced tea, and really it’s pretty healthy since there is only a small amount of added sugar and I’m using almond milk instead of condensed milk. The consistency is a little thin due to the lack of the condensed milk, but the flavor is SPOT ON. Just thought I’d pass this story on because it’s pretty bizarre.
Was in the mood for this tea today, thankfully I still had some left. It is growing on me, but definitely not something I’d drink every day- just when I’m in the mood.
Running out of my dong ding, it has maybe one or two more chances on the table. Had some more today, and stuck with my inclination to let the leaves steep longer than I would with most other oolongs. In my opinion the longer steepings round out the flavor profile and make for a better cup. Started with ~40 seconds, and ramped up from there.
I guess I underestimated the “cravability” of this tea for my tastes, because I went straight for it again today. Early infusions are so sweet and smooooooth.
Received the light oxidation as a sample from my last order. I’m finally in a mood to give this one a go, I’ve been too into the Mild Oxidation (a more oxidized version) and haven’t been able to stop myself for reaching for it when I’m in the mood for Tie Guan Yin.
For me I have to be in the right mood for a lighter oolong, and right now this one is really hitting the spot! Super silky mouth feel in the first two infusions, getting a little bit of the vegetal flavors and slightly drying effect on the tongue in the mid infusions so far. I’d say the official description for this one is pretty spot on, which means I’ve somehow managed to brew this “correctly” the first time around. Actually I’ve found that in general Tie Guan Yins seem to be pretty forgiving. Sometimes I’ll have an especially great session which stands out, but when I’m not brewing up to snuff I still get some totally acceptable cups. Other teas are not so forgiving.
I think my disdain for floral aspects in teas have diminished quite a bit since I started brewing gong fu style vs western style, because the floral aspects of this tea aren’t bugging me at all, and they are definitely present just in a much more subtle way.
I’ll certainly find myself picking up the mild oxidation counterpart more often, but that’s a matter of personal preference. Overall a very enjoyable tea!
Had some more enjoyable cups this time around. Slightly hotter water, not sure if it was the right call or not. Also used some longer infusion times which seemed to help. I still think there is something better here, just need to coax it out.
First time brewing Dong Ding. I’m not convinced I was able to coax the full potential out of this tea, only time will tell. As it stands I’m about 50/50 on this one, I just couldn’t get that into it. The first couple infusions were very intensely roasty and almost intolerable for me, tasting mostly like burnt watered down coffee, with just a hint of underlying leaf with just a hint of a pleasant caramel coming through. I preferred the later infusions (4+) which yielded a much more balanced cup. I made it through 6 infusions before I had to give up (due mostly to liquid overload) but this tea could have definitely kept going. I might opt for a longer rinse next time to flush out more of the unpleasant flavors of the early infusions. I think dong ding might just be a little too much for me, but I felt the same way the first half a dozen times I tried Lapsang Souchong, so your mileage may vary.
It’s also worth noting that like all the other teas I’ve tried from Chan Teas, the leaf quality is great, with nice large and intact leaves. Being ball rolled this has some amazing expansion properties too!
This tea is like a magic trick! I brewed it gong fu style, and even trying to take into account the leaf expansion I still ended up with a hilariously overflowing gaiwan by the end of the 3rd infusion. That’s not the only trick to the tea though, because the real the trick is in the way it changes from the front of your mouth to the back of your throat, and the way it changes from the first infusion to the later infusions. There is immediately delicate floral (not overpowering) tastes toward the front of the mouth, but gains a deepness as it hits the middle/back of the tongue. In later infusions the less oxidized portion of the leaf opens up and starts coming through, yielding a much greener flavor AND slight astringency which makes sense though I wasn’t expecting it. Overall a really enjoyable tie guan yin and enjoyable tea! I suspect that I’ll favor the mild oxidation to the light oxidation which I have a sample of, but I’m excited to try it and if I’m feeling super ambitious/nerdy maybe I’ll try a double brew to A/B test them and really pick out what the change in oxidation is effecting. Into the 5th infusion, and still going.
I should also add that it’s a pretty good value at 100g for $18, just finished my 7th infusion and it’s still producing a decent cup!