Made my first trip out to the Far Leaves Tea store the other day, and I immediately fell in love with the simple surroundings and all the delicious teas that I tried. After enjoying an awesome pot of Bi Lo Chun at my table, I asked to sample some Taiwanese oolongs in hopes of getting a better idea of what I like in an oolong. The owner, Donna, asked me if I’d like to try one of her all-time favorites that she had just hand-selected and flown over from Taiwan. How could I refuse? After two sips, I was completely sold on the Dong Ding — she packed me an (overflowing) tin, and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.
I don’t possess the palate (nor the adjective set!) to accurately describe the intricacies of 7+ tiny cups of tea, but what I can tell you from my various cups over the last two days is that this particular Dong Ding has an INCREDIBLE floral aroma that I simply cannot get out of my head. Every sip and sniff of this tea just explodes with the sweet scent of blossoming Gardenias, while the flavor slowly transitions from sweet and soft; to astringent and “full.” It takes about three infusions for the leaves to fully open up, but it’s fun watching and tasting the tea as it deepens in color and flavor over the next ~4 infusions.
I’ve been using the directed amount of rolled leaf in a “normal-sized” gaiwan (about 1tsp/~70ml of slightly cooled water), but I haven’t been very precise with my timings or temperatures — I’m still new to gaiwans and gong-fu, so I’m taking it a cup at a time. I do have to admit that I have been enjoying a break from all the fuss I normally make preparing greens.. :)
I’m off to bed now, but I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about this tea until my next cup.