I have a friend who knows what he likes. Most of the tea I give him, he kind of screws up his face and nods carefully and is like, “Yeah, that’s alright.” But if you give him an assam, or some Yunnan black, every time, he sighs and sits back and says, “Yeah, that’s really nice.”
He’d like this tea.
I’ve never had anything in the rolled oolong space that’s this close to the yunnan black thing: that particular malty-sweet-subtle sour thing. On the first taste, you might mistake it for an extra-roasty, extra-hearty yunnan black. But then this other, dongding weirdness comes through underneath – some weird fat spinachy-stemmy fuzzy sour-junk. It’s weird. Is this a traditional tea type? Some part of me suspects that this has been pushed to meet a certain taste in the Western market for big, malty, roasty teas, and it sits weirdly with that spinach bottom. But I’m probably wrong. I’m sure it’s utterly traditional or something.
But it’s strange. The parts don’t quite fit together, but still, it’s pleasant, and kind of amusing.
Oh yeah: it goes really well with buttered toast. And with pork liver pate. (Don’t ask.)
Totally good value for the (bargain) asking price.