Guiyuan Roasted Dong Ding

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Roasted, Caramel, Honey, Sweet, Toasty, Baked Bread, Chocolate, Coconut, Molasses
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 15 sec 503 oz / 14875 ml

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45 Tasting Notes View all

  • “And now we’re watching the Superbowl, because…well, because I’m at Tony’s house & that’s what we do. It’s not Baseball, but I usually enjoy the commercials. :) I’ve been working my way...” Read full tasting note
  • “Very slow getting around to my steepster select box when I’m backed up on my BBB box and my million tea swap with yyz, but I decided that I need to start drinking these as another box from...” Read full tasting note
  • “I suspect that this is a very fine tea, just not a type I am particularly fond of. It is roasty and very sweet, but kind of weak, in a way. I think I would appreciate it more if it was a bit more...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sipdown! Sadly. I really like this one. It’s just roasty enough to be comforting but there’s also an intense sweetness to it that I’m amazed is natural. I would definitely buy more but four ounces...” Read full tasting note

From Steepster

A deep roasted oolong from Nantou, Taiwan. Rich aromatics of coffee, brown sugar, concord grapes and toasted coconut. Our Guìyuán Dong Ding is a classic style produced using the traditional method of hand roasting over charcoal. Exposure to high heat gently changes the leaf sugar composition leading to a naturally sweet liquor.

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45 Tasting Notes

188 tasting notes

Ok this is going to be a long one…

I used the sample pack 4gm in a new Yunnan Sourcing Celadon 100ml gaiwan. I figured a nice aromatic roasted green oolong would match.

1St steep 50 seconds after a quick rinse and the leaves still are bunched abit. The smell is outrageous. Everything in its description is there. The coconut, brown sugar leading the way. The flavor was even more enticing as the concord grape (pits and skins alike) and coffee joined the party. Exceptional.

2nd steep 40 seconds and the aromas are still strong with the flavors absolutely filling up my mouth with “POW”. The wet leaves in the gaiwan are showing off nicely and I think I heard them say “you ain’t drunk nothing yet”.

3rd steep 45 seconds and the proverbial mother load. By far my best experience with roasted green oolong in this cup. Full of aroma and flavor and I get a stronger hint of the coffee and new flavors of tobacco and slate. I like the color of the soup too being a rusty yellow.

4th steep 50 seconds and a noticeable drop off in the aroma as it to has changed into a more smokey tobacco scent. The flavors of coconut and brown sugar are just faint reminiscences now with the smokey slate flavor bursting through.

5th steep for 1 minute and I have to say that at first I got a little pissy because I wanted the coconut brown sugar back and felt disappointed in being left with the other flavors.

6th steep 70 seconds and I hit an epiphany, I remembered this flavor of smokey slate from the true rock Wuyi’s and then the appreciation sunk in. That slate sensation in the mouth is exactly like those Wuyi oolongs I have been drinking and with the help of Shunan at Tea Drunk I came to appreciate them. Its kind of like the first time you have bitter melon. You immediately cringe your nose and pucker. But after several times eating it, you later come to an agreement that that flavor is sought out for its contribution to your taste-buds. That’s when I stopped being pissy and realized that this tea was just developing into a classic flavor and just appreciate it.

7th steep 80 seconds and I took time to sniff the lid and still some fragrance of coconut and brown sugar but it was almost gone in the soup. The flavor now was of Wuyi only and quite satisfying.

8th 9th 10th added 10 seconds to each and alas its about petered out but the rusty yellow hue hangs on as do the smokey slate flavors.

All said, the best sample in my recent memory. A great experience as it schooled me on the flavor notes to be more patient and contemplative. The gaiwan tea combo was a home run as well. I love this type of tea experience. Thanks Steepster

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec
Terri HarpLady

You are awesome! I love this review :)

My first cup of this was done western style. I’m still saving the 2nd cup to enjoy in a gaiwan.


Thank you for your brilliant review

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511 tasting notes

Yay, my very first steepster select box arrived today! I love the packaging and the helpful extras like the filters and tea-info card.

This roasted dong ding is quite tasty. Roasty at the top of the sip with a sweet finish. I can’t say that its significantly better than any other roasted dong ding that I’ve had, but it does have a place amongst the rest of the “winners” :)

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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682 tasting notes

Oh my gosh so I keep dabbling between the steepster app and the site because I definitely want to get used to the app because it’s so cute!
So yeah. This tea. I wanted to drink one from my Steepster Select pack and asked my roommate to pick a tea out at random and she chose this one!
Dry, this tea smells nice. Definitely smells like an oolong.
Steeping, whoa oh ohhhh it definitely smells like an oolong! For some reason, I always hate how oolongs smells like, but when I taste it, it tastes so much better. Just gotta get used to it, I guess!
And now trying it out aaand oh yes. Definitely oolong-y and tasted all roasted and ash-y and liquor-y. Don’t know if I necessarily am in LOVE with the taste, but it’s still a pretty good tea :) not the best, but decent :)

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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23 tasting notes

I’m thrilled to be among the pilot members of the new Steepster Select program. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to continue subscribing, as it’s well over my monthly tea budget, but for the moment I’m enjoying indulging. My first shipment arrived yesterday.

The Guiyuán Roasted Dong Ding is the first tea I’m trying from the Steepster Select shipment. I chose it because I’ve never heard of this varietal of oolong and it sounded like what I wanted this morning.

I brewed 16oz following the directions and got a strong cup of tea, on the verge of being bitter, but not. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably try slightly cooler water.

This tea is is true to the description, sweet and smokey. I do detect the coffee, brown sugar, concord grape, and roasted coconut aromatics as described on the pouch.

The mouthfeel is rich and wonderfully creamy, although by the end of the first cup the tannins gave me that pithy feeling on my tongue like you get eating an unripe apple.

A second brewing at 185º came out even better than the first. Some of the more subtle oolong flavors from the first brewing are able to shine. It’s also a little softer on the tongue, less rich, and with less tannins.

Overall I found this tea satisfied my desire for umami as well as my desire for a rich oolong tea.

I was about to say I couldn’t be more pleased, but it appears this Steepster sourced original is sold out! Shucks, I guess I’ll just have to surf Steepster for another Dong Ding. Any suggestions?

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

I would check with Naivetea:

or perhaps Red Blossom


Thanks TeaBrat, I’ll take a look!

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714 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 4 tsp (2 packets)
Water: 1000ml at 195°F
Tool: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker BTM800XL
Steep Time: 2 minutes 30 seconds
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: roasty, floral
Steeped Tea Smell: floral, coconut, slightly roast
Flavor: smooth, roasty, nutty, slightly sweet
Body: Light
Aftertaste: roasty, floral
Liquor: translucent light yellow-orange brown

1000ml at 195°F for 3 minutes
darker, roastier, less sweet, still slightly floral and coconut?

1000ml at 195°F for 3 minutes 30 seconds
lighter, still roast

1000ml at 195°F for 4 minutes
roasty, sweet watery this may be the end

From the Steepster Select tea subscription.
Listed as sold out

Rating: 2/4 leaves


195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 tsp 1000 OZ / 29573 ML

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1015 tasting notes

I’m not sure I’ve had a Dong Ding before… but I was a bit wary of this one for some reason. I like dark oolongs but many times they smell a lot better than they taste for me. This one isn’t half bad. I’m liking it – there is a roasty coffee taste through the middle of the sip that I’m liking. I’m not getting any grape or coconut, but perhaps they will come out in subsequent steeps. As it is, this is good enough to steep at least one more time. Not sure that its a tea I can’t live without, but its nice.

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6 tasting notes

The roasted flavor really stands out in this Oolong. I’m generally not a huge fan of coffee flavor, but the coconut balances out the flavors nicely. I’ve had great luck with the Steepster Selects so far. Can’t wait to try my next one!

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102 tasting notes

Sometimes I love the descriptions of tea most of all, “aromatics of coffee, brown sugar, concord grapes…” I always find myself wondering whether the describer truly has such a sensitive palate, or if she simply has an innovative and lyrical grasp of language.

I had thought the claim that tea could taste like coffee and brown sugar a particularly inventive piece of whimsy, but I do taste something dark and coffee-ish in this cup. It is somehow comforting and down-to-earth in the way coffee is, without those light floral notes I’m so used to in oolong. However, I can’t say that I taste grapes, much less a taste as specific as concord grapes, but I like to think that someone can.
The second cup is every bit as strong and satisfying as the first.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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16 tasting notes

Just a note from memory (had this 2 days ago), which I might update when I next brew this.

I adore the scent of this. Really astonishing, intense, and unique. Roasty and sweet. Nutty with brown sugar and all the other promised aromatics – coffee, coconut, even concord grape, which was very interesting. I just wanted to lean over my cup and breathe it in.

After the aroma, the flavour was a bit disappointing, mostly because it tasted much more mild than the scent promised. But it was still very impressive. I brewed it a minute longer than suggested, which helped, and a longer steep on the second brew sorted out the issue of strength vs quality of flavour. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. I love the strong roasted flavour, which gave it a warm depth, but was balanced by a very smooth sweetness, which was what emerged as grape in the nose. Also very creamy, and nutty if I remember correctly. I’m curious to see how other roasted dong dings will compare.

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41 tasting notes

1st taste – Nice and grassy but I get a little bit of a dirt taste to this that’s not so pleasant. This tea smells nice but not very sweet.

I added honey to this tea and I thought it was much better with a little bit of sweetness.

This tea seems very fine and seems like a great tea, it’s just not my favorite.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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