Old Style Dong Ding Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flavors
Apple, Apricot, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Osmanthus, Pear, Nutty, Sweet, Flowers, Nectar, Caramel, Coconut, Grass, Honey, Mango, Smooth, Vegetal
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 15 sec 4 g 15 oz / 429 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Comparing this to the roasted Dong Ding from BTTC. First, I prefer this version to the roasted Dong Ding. More complexity and flavor. Also, the tea evolves a bit between infusions, with more...” Read full tasting note
    85
  • “Winter 2016 version. Vernal equinox at hand, and feeling vaguely renewed after attending a wonderful Nowruz family luncheon, I thought this tea might serve me well as a way of demarcating the...” Read full tasting note
    83
  • “Okay, as those of you who read my previous review for this tea may be aware, I was not completely satisfied with my brewing method, so I decided to change it up a little bit. I still went with a...” Read full tasting note
    92
  • “This is really an excellent tea – the first one I’ve tried from BTT that I actually bought off their site. I drank some of this sample with some teafriends to celebrate the New Year :) The dry...” Read full tasting note
    92

From Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company

This tea is hand-picked, hand-made the old-fashioned way with floral overtones and a very smooth drinking experience.

Here’s an interesting tea. 30 years ago, the most sought after teas on the local Taiwanese market came from three areas: Wenshan, Muzha and Dong Ding which produced a rolled oolong. As the High Mountain Oolongs expanded into other higher mountain areas like Alishan, Shanlinxi and Lishan, the popularity of the lower elevation Dong Ding started to get crowed out. In time, the farmers there started making their teas in more modern ways to cut costs.

Fast forward and now there are a few farmers who have decided to go retro and make Dong Ding Oolong with the same production methodology as 30 years ago! Their goal is to remind everyone why Dong Ding got famous in the first place. We think they succeeded.

This tea is more floral and reminds one of a nice Tieguanyin. We really like this tea and hope you’ll give it a shot!

About Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company View company

Company description not available.

13 Tasting Notes

85
101 tasting notes

Comparing this to the roasted Dong Ding from BTTC.

First, I prefer this version to the roasted Dong Ding. More complexity and flavor. Also, the tea evolves a bit between infusions, with more spice and fruit notes showing up as the session progresses.

Second, based on previous reviews, this tea has quite a fan base! I certainly enjoyed it, but I found the flavor to be a bit light compared to other green oolong options. Just like the roasted version, I would consider this to be an approachable easy drinker. I would recommend those exploring their Taiwanese tea options to pick this up along with BTTC’s Baozhong. The Baozhong has a more powerful and assertive flavor profile, so you can determine what your own preferences are. Personally, I think Baozhong or a Tie Guan Yin are more interesting to drink. But don’t take my word for it!
*
Dry leaf – honey floral, cilantro, coriander, perfumey floral. In preheated vessel – buttery green vegetables, “popcorn” roastiness like Bi Luo Chun

Smell – green vegetables – snow peas, buttered cooked zucchini, sweet floral, honey butter, hints of cinnamon-raisin bread

Taste – Arrival/development: buttered fresh green veg (snow peas and zucchini especially), honey butter, buttered cinnamon-raisin toast. Finish/aftertaste: peach, dried apricot, strong lemongrass lingering finish

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 2 OZ / 59 ML

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83
30 tasting notes

Winter 2016 version.

Vernal equinox at hand, and feeling vaguely renewed after attending a wonderful Nowruz family luncheon, I thought this tea might serve me well as a way of demarcating the seasonal shift.

Filtered Santa Monica municipal water, to glass cha hai, to my Taiwanese purple clay tea-pot (mostly used for heavy roast oolong), back to the glass cha hai, into my porcelain cup.

Rinse: Once the leaves are wet the aromatics come to life dramatically: butterscotch, chestnut, fresh bush/wax beans, freshly cleaned wood, etc.

45sec: Greenish lemon chiffon liquor; aromatic but weaker than the wet leaves held under the nose; very delicate nectar-like sweetness emerges from the depths of the finish. Wild grasses, with hints of melon as well.

60sec: More of the same. Fresh cream flavors accentuate the mouth-feel, and suggest hints of butterscotch as well. Lots of floral notes in here, though they largely remain secondary to the gentle sweetness up front and rounding things out.

90sec: Pushing the leaf a bit, liquor darkens slightly to a canary yellow; a hint of spice perhaps (coriander? stale dried mint?) develops, finishes slightly more herbal – otherwise consistent with the initial steeps.

4 – 5 more steeps from 90 seconds up to 3 minutes before the sweetness fades and the floral complexity is diminished/muddled.

Overall – light, floral, creamy, and moderately energizing. Looking forward to trying the roasted version from the same vendor…

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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92
453 tasting notes

Okay, as those of you who read my previous review for this tea may be aware, I was not completely satisfied with my brewing method, so I decided to change it up a little bit. I still went with a more or less Chinese gongfu approach, but used less leaf and started with a longer rinse and a longer first steep. My steep times for this session were as follows: 30 seconds, 35 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, and 5 minutes. I still got all of the aromas and flavors I got before and in the same order to boot. Maybe my first attempt, though not ideal, was not so bad after all. I still really adore this tea.

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Cucumber, Floral, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Osmanthus, Pear

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
Evol Ving Ness

Absolutely on my shopping list. When I allow myself. smdh

Daylon R Thomas

Are the shipping rates better for Canada on Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.?

Evol Ving Ness

The shipping for Canada is free over $50, so yay! (Or $10 otherwise.) I would always do the free shipping limit because one never knows when duty will be slapped onto it too. Usually there is no duty for tea. However, HOWEVER, I got slapped with a serious duty fee on an order out of the States this year.

Evol Ving Ness

And the currency exchange sucks. A lot.

These are all factors.

eastkyteaguy

Evol, the sample of this I had was from an earlier harvest in 2016, but the winter 2016 harvest is in stock now. At this point, I would add three things about this tea. First, if you have had or are used to some of the contemporary Dong Dings that are more heavily roasted, don’t expect this one to be all that much like them. The roast is much lighter than you will expect. Honestly, it is very subtle and tasteful. Second, don’t expect really strong, pronounced flavors, especially if you flash steep. This is the kind of tea that revels in restraint, but manages to keep you intrigued with subtle changes for an extended period of time. Third, invest in more than a sample size. It’s expensive, but go with at least a 2 ounce pouch. With this tea you are paying for both high quality and a unique experience. I would have loved to have had more of this particular harvest so I could have gauged how it changes over an extended period of time.

Evol Ving Ness

Thank you for the addendum, eastkyguy. Much appreciated. I’ve saved it with my shopping list for the moment that my self-restraint fades, not that I have much to begin with. Thank you for taking the time and effort.

eastkyteaguy

No problem. I spent way too much on tea this past year, and especially in the last 2-3 months. I’m fighting off the urge to place a large order from Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co. as we speak, but with my birthday coming up soon, I doubt I’ll be able to manage.

Daylon R Thomas

Same. The Yu Shan looked great and that Dong Ding was one of my favorites. I was able to get some good floral and nut notes the last time I had it, even considering that it was western. I liked alternating on that one though. I decided to get some Li Shan costing under $13 for 50 grams from What-Cha that I really liked. And this way, I got more Rohini Golden Bud Darjeeling and a wild Lapsang that looked promising.

eastkyteaguy

Daylon, I’m trying to decide whether to go with What-Cha for my next order or B.T.T.C. I noticed that B.T.T.C. recently brought in some interesting new black teas, including a rolled Alishan black tea they have never offered before. It definitely looks interesting. What-Cha, however, has a bunch of their small-holder Assams on sale. Right now, I am considering a What-Cha order consisting of the following:

1.) Assam Heritage STGFOP1
2.) Assam Joypur Small-Holder Hand-Made Black
3.) Assam Kanoka Hand-Made Black
4.) Assam Lakua Small-Holder
5.) Bihar Doke Black Fusion Hand-Made Black
6.) Darjeeling Gopaldhara First Flush China Special
7.) Darjeeling Gopaldhara Second Flush China Muscatel
8.) Darjeeling Gopaldhara Second Flush Wonder Muscatel Gold
9.) Darjeeling Second Flush Pasabong Small-Holder
10.) Darjeeling Second Flush Rohini Golden Buds
11.) Korea Dong Cheon Daejak Semi-Wild Green
12.) Taiwan Shui Xian Oolong
13.) China Fujian Jin Xuan Oolong

I don’t know if I’m going to go through with it though.

Daylon R Thomas

How many of them have you had and what are your specific preferences for oolongs and blacks?

eastkyteaguy

Of the teas listed, I haven’t had any of them yet. I tend to like blacks and oolongs almost equally. With oolongs, I either lean toward earthy and roasted or light,creamy, and floral. There isn’t much in between. With blacks, I’m pretty much an open book. I have had some of the more standard Darjeelings from Gopaldhara and Rohini, though I haven’t reviewed them, and I tend to like what those two estates do. I am entirely unfamiliar with all of the Assams listed above. Korean teas are a new frontier for me. I haven’t had any before.

Daylon R Thomas

I can remember one right now which was the Dancha, though I might have had others. I’d think they generally taste similar to Japanese blacks.

Evol Ving Ness

Don’t even get me started. I kept a tea purchase log this year month by month. After the first six months, I stopped calculating the monthly subtotals because it was too painful.

And Happy Birthday to you! This most definitely deserves a blowout or several. :)

Yeah, I’m an enabler.

eastkyteaguy

Evol, thank you. Just so you know, I went ahead and pulled the trigger on a fairly sizable What-Cha order.

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92
417 tasting notes

This is really an excellent tea – the first one I’ve tried from BTT that I actually bought off their site. I drank some of this sample with some teafriends to celebrate the New Year :) The dry leaf looked pretty green, but the had a bit of a popcorn aroma to it, along with some slight green floral. After a rinse, it smelled more like caramel corn. I was surprised with how green the leaves started to look after they unfurled, but the aroma and taste certainly confirmed that this is a skillfully roasted tea.

This tea displayed characteristics both from green oolong and from more highly roasted teas. There were some succulent floral and cucumber notes, but also some more nutty and roasty flavors which interacted beautifully with each other. The tea also came across as very creamy. A sweet nutty flavor, almost like candied almond, lingered in the back of my mouth for many minutes after I finished each cup, even at the very end of the session. It made it hard to start my next tea, because I didn’t want that flavor to go away.

This tea is definitely a hit for me. I enjoyed it with 195F water, the recommended temperature on the package, but it also performed quite well with boiled water. This is a tea which I could certainly see myself reordering after I’ve had a chance to try some of BTT’s other oolong offerings.

On a secondary note, I think I’ve been fully converted to the roasted side of oolong. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some very good green oolongs out there (including things like the DYL I tried from BTT a couple months ago), but roasted oolongs just seem to offer nicer flavors and greater texture and complexity, at least as far as my palate is concerned.

Flavors: Cucumber, Floral, Nutty, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Hoálatha

This is one of my favorites as well.

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64 tasting notes

Sometimes I wonder if I still have a little of that ornery soul most little boys grow up with where raining on everyone else’s parade is the height of wit.

Seven came before me and drank this tea, and essentially it received unanimous acclaim. So I got a sample since BTTC was good enough to show up to Midwest Tea Festival (thanks BTTC!) and today, I drank it.

With all the accolades, I certainly wasn’t prepared for what I found in my cup.

It was even better than they said.

If such notables as boychik and LP can’t capture this greatness in the limited format of mere words. far be it from me to attempt. But I echo what others have urged – try this tea if you like oolong. Try it if you haven’t had traditional processed Dong Ding, even if you’re not a fan of current style DD.

Or you know, don’t. It’ll leave more for me.

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95
638 tasting notes

My tea from yesterday.

This tea is a masterpiece. Not quite as floral as some oolongs I’ve had but it’s the way the floral blends into the whole picture. There’s so much in the floral aroma and taste. My taste buds are not as sensitive as some so I couldn’t name all the floral notes but osmanthus was definitely there. There was a sweet osmanthus finish with each sip. The tea was smooth and oh so sweet and buttery. I reminded me of a Tie Guan Yin but not a cheap one —a very fine Tie Guan Yin.

Really an amazing tea. A must try tea.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Osmanthus

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Rasseru

so many good scores for this one.

Doug F

I don’t drink much Oolong but I might have to give this a try.

Ubacat

It really is the most amazing one from this company so far.

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99
260 tasting notes

I’ve never understood the fuss about dong ding. I know its a prestigious tea and all, but none of the ones I tried ever made an impression on me. So when I received a sample of this tea with my recent BTT order, I kind of groaned. My cupboard already had two other dong dings which I practically have to force myself to drink.

But when I opened the envelope and took a whiff, I knew this tea was going to be different. Unlike dong dings of past, this one was unroasted and had a sweet floral fragrance. The flavor is true to the aroma. This is such a flower packed tea. Wet leaf smells like hyacinth in full bloom. There is honeysuckle and lilac at the beginning of the sip and a strong osmanthus note as it goes down. The floral overtones are harmoniously balanced by a sweet nectar goodness, which Daylon Thomas correctly describes as tropical fruit. I’m impressed by how natural the tea’s floral tones are.

And boy does it have staying power. It held up admirably through 8 steeps with minimal loss of flavor. Even though I steeped it at high temperatures there was no bitterness whatsoever. Just a tangy lip smacking sweetness that lingers in the mouth.

As someone that regularly drinks jade oolongs, the distinction between them can sometimes become blurred. This one really sets itself apart with its unreal flavor. Thanks to Paul at BTT for an awesome sample!

Flavors: Flowers, Honeysuckle, Nectar, Osmanthus, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 100 OZ / 2957 ML
Rasseru

Sounds like I need to try some of this, I am the same and never took to dong ding from the ones I have tried.

Rasseru

is it full leaf or are the edges trimmed off like in modern tieguanyin?

Rasseru

and has a lot of branches?

LuckyMe

Yup, green dong ding tastes like a totally different tea. Roasting seems to strip much of its flavor.

This tea has whole, full leaves. Didn’t examine the branches but there didn’t seem to be any more than usual.

Daylon R Thomas

Plus the leaves are pretty big.

yyz

Oh yum.

Daylon R Thomas

Have you tried this one grandpa, LuckyMe? I’m considering it for my tumbler if I am to get more.

LuckyMe

Would love to try it grandpa style but unfortunate I got a bad batch and had it throw it out. :-(

Daylon R Thomas

Man that sucks! Was it from a previous harvest?

LuckyMe

You might want to hold off if you’re thinking of ordering this tea. I just bought some again during their Chinese New Year sale and for a second time, the tea was stale. This was the Winter 2016 harvest. Thankfully, BTTC was very good about refunding me.

Seems there could be a problem at the farm that supplies them. I’d wait until they can sort out the issue.

Daylon R Thomas

Thanks for telling me. I had a gut feeling about it and was glad I went with another option for some Gaoshan.

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921 tasting notes

Today has been a painting day, working on finishing up the miniatures for people’s Christmas gifts, specifically the people whose gifts get mailed away, and I happen to almost be finished. I think that after I finish with these I am going to break into assembly mode and put together the ships from Dreadfleet, the newest addition to Ben and my gaming library. He was a sweetheart and bought it, see a year ago my local gaming shop had a copy of it and I was going to buy it after saving up a good bit of money…and the day I finally had enough to buy it, someone bought it. So we have been hunting it on ebay and found it for a steal, which is awesome since that game has been out of print for a while. Yay for crazy ships!

For today’s tea I am looking at Beautiful Taiwan Tea Company’s ‘Old Style’ Dong Ding Oolong, a Taiwanese Oolong made in the form that was all the rage thirty years ago, nothing like keeping tradition alive. It is also nice to see Dong Ding outside of my usual sought after roasted form, because you cannot have a good roasted oolong without a good green oolong to start with. And the leaves are big, with hearty stems and rich emerald greens, yeah with leaves this big I am going to need a big gaiwan. The aroma of the leaves is really sweet, buttery and creamy, notes of sesame custard and chestnuts, and flowers. Of course there are flowers, honeysuckle and hyacinth, with very gentle lilac note at the finish. Flowery and sweet, just the way I like it!

So, about that big gaiwan, yeah, it is time for the golden flower queen! The aroma of the unfurling leaves is pretty potent, very strong notes of spicy lilies and hyacinth, with strong buttery undertones, and a gentle vegetation note at the finish. The liquid is wonderfully sweet, strong notes of lilies and hyacinth, honeysuckles and lilac. Underneath the flowery burst is gentle sweet creaminess and a touch of vegetation.

The first steep starts out with a great creamy texture, it is silky and smooth, and that smoothness wanders into the taste as well. It starts with a light creamy taste, like custard and chestnuts (can chestnut custard be a thing?) It then moves on to a cascade of flower nectar sweetness, lilacs and honeysuckles dance over my tongue, with a finish of gently spiced lilies. The aftertaste lingers for quite a while.

Second steeping time, the aroma is sweet and flowery, notes of chestnut and honeysuckles, lilacs, and lilies…lots of flowers going on there. The taste is buttery and sweet, the texture is buttery and thick, it coats the mouth thoroughly. The taste starts with sweetness, honeysuckle nectar and flower blossoms, chestnut sweetness, and a finish of vegetal brothiness that gives a slightly savory finish to the tea.

Third steep, and wow, these leaves, they are so big! I feel like I could wear them as a hat or something, use them as a sunshade on a summer day. The aroma is still going strong with sweet flowery notes, so many flowers, lilacs, honeysuckles, hyacinth, it is like a spring bouquet. The taste is still quite flowery, though the green notes that showed up previously are now stronger, like fresh vegetation and summer growth. Combine that buttery chestnut sweetness and you have a really good tea, I can certainly say this one made me re-think my tendency to prefer roasted Dong Ding.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/11/beautiful-taiwan-tea-company-old-style.html

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100
919 tasting notes

Really nice oolong, and Andrew, this was a great one that I had to try. A little bit more floral than the other ones I’ve had, but still mildly fruity, with a weird vegetal caramel character in the aftertaste. The company’s mention of a resemblance to Tie Guan Yin is also pretty accurate. Nice leaves, faint fragrancy, light flavor profile, decent resteep-ability, and complexity all make this a high rating. A lot of people would like it, though I think that newer tea drinkers might be looking for something heavier, and a black tea dominant person would be underwhelmed. Obviously for oolong lovers and green tea lovers looking for new horizons.

My only hesitation is my bias to the tung ting Liquid Proust Teas Elixir #9. I was looking for a more nectar like profile which is more in super green oolongs. With that said, this one DOES have a nectar taste, it was just fainter and I could tell that leaves were a little more roasted (barely more). As with the Misty Mountain, I think I have to go back to this one again and use less water and or more leaves. I was trying to slow down my tea usage, and I did, but I need to figure out better parameters to do so.

With a full tea spoon, it’s closer to a tropical fruit nectar, specifically mango with a side of coconut shavings…if that makes any sense. I got it more in steep two the second time drinking it. I’m enjoying it a little more the second time.

Flavors: Caramel, Coconut, Floral, Grass, Honey, Mango, Nectar, Smooth, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Liquid Proust

This one is a work of art.

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