22 Tasting Notes
This is a very unique aged oolong, and very different in flavor from a traditionally roasted or unroasted Ali Shan. It’s charcoal every year since the picking date of 1991, and as such the tea is very dark, almost black in color. The brewed tea however is surprisingly light in color, coming out a beige-orange.
The aroma is wonderful, a blend of aged wood and roasted dates. The flavor consists of raisin, caramel and baker’s chocolate tones. It’s a fantastic dessert tea, but a bit too naturally sweet for everyday drinking (at least for me). Definitely a nice treat though!
A perfect example of a traditional Taiwanese Dong Ding oolong. Lightly roasted for a great aroma and malty taste, but still retaining the lovely fruit and floral aftertastes that make green Dong Dings so special. Can easily stand up to 5+ gong fu style infusions; an exceptional tea.
This is a fairly non-traditional Tung Ting (or Dong Ding, as the variety is better known) in that it is completely unroasted. While the small size of the leaves (mostly single and often broken) and dark color of the tea suggests that it is machine-made and oxidized a bit too long, it’s still quite nice. If you like your Taiwanese oolongs unroasted & blatantly floral, this is one for you. A very strong, perfume-like aroma and powerful taste, that quickly wears off after a few infusions. Not a great long session tea, but great for a quick afternoon cup.
Yet another lovely aged oolong from Camellia Sinensis. While I usually prefer aged ball oolongs, baozhongs seem to age really well too, retaining their fruity, vegetal qualities but also becoming more mellow and and gaining depth in the flavor spectrum. While I don’t love this tea as much as the 1978 Baozhong or the 1987 Mucha Tieguanyin that Camellia Sinensis offers, it is still a very, very enjoyable tea.
My favorite type of tea is high mountain Taiwanese oolongs, and this is the best that I have ever tried. Due to the high elevation it is grown at, the brewing parameters for this tea are somewhat odd. I typically brew 3g in a small round yixing for at least 6 minutes. While most teas would become bitter at such extreme brewing times, it is necessary to extract the subtle flavors from this tea.
The aroma is incredible, almost perfume-like, and the flavor is light and delicately fruity, with an amazing aftertaste that lingers for several minutes. Mouthfeel of this tea is warm and velvety. All in all, about as perfect as tea gets in my opinion.
The tamaryokucha served at Dobra is one of the fresher and more vibrant that I’ve tried. It’s somewhere between a sencha and a gyokuro on the Japanese green scale. There’s a strong fruity flavor, reminiscent of mango, yet it has a strong vegetal quality as well, just lighter than that of the shade-grown gyokuro. This is a great introductory tea for those looking to explore the world of Japanese greens. Brew in a kyusu or houhin.
I’ve only had the Da Hong Pao from Dobra a couple times, but it’s a great tea. Definitely unique for an oolong, it has a deep red color and a complex, earthy flavor. It almost reminds me more of a puerh than an oolong in this respect. A very nice tea for late fall/early winter nights.
Bocha, as far as I can tell, is just Camellia Sinensis’ name for a standard kukicha (stems and twigs from sencha). It’s not a very complex tea, but it is nice & fresh and good for a cheap, everyday Japanese green.