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This is the final tea review from my big Camellia Sinensis purchase in 2018. (I repurchased the Gyokuro Okkabe and Feng Huang Hong Cha, but I’ve already reviewed these teas.) Camellia Sinensis regularly stocks three Dong Dings: Mr. Chang, Mr. Nen Yu, and Ms. Lin. The last of these is more often out of stock than available, so I decided there must be something to it. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 25, 20, 25, 30, 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma is of char, roast, honey, flowers, and plums. The wet leaves in the teapot smell like charcoal and roast, which makes me wonder why I have such a penchant for buying roasted teas that I can’t appreciate. The first steep has notes of roasted grain, honey, plum, caramel, wood, and roast. The plum becomes more pronounced in the second steep, and I also get orchid, other flowers, roasted walnuts, charcoal, and cream. The next couple steeps are more roasty, with roasted nuts, walnuts, honey, baked bread, roast, wood, and charcoal predominating and some florals and plum in the background. The tea is starting to get drying in the mouth. As expected, the session becomes increasingly focused on the roast and ends with charcoal, roast, wood, roasted nuts, earth, and minerals.

I understand why this Dong Ding gets snapped up so quickly. While it’s a little too roasted for me, I love its sweet, toasty, slightly fruity profile and think it would be a great tea for fall or winter.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Char, Cream, Earth, Floral, Grain, Honey, Mineral, Orchid, Plum, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Walnut, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).

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