Sunday, August 20, 2006

TN: 2006 Dong Ding Oolong, Feng Huang Village, Taiwan

Dong Ding oolong “classic” w/ light roast
Feng Huang Village, Taiwan
2006, spring harvest
Source: Stéphane Erler of Tea Masters

Click here for Stéphane Erler's article about the producer of this tea.

2006 Dong Ding Oolong, Feng Huang, TaiwanDry: each pellet is tightly compressed. Deep, dark green, while some are medium green in color. Quite stalky.

Wet: each pellet opens up to large whole leaves (or a leaf) with deep, dark green color. Excellent looking!

Parameter: flash rinse once, wait 30s, then 8s, 8s, 15s, 20s, 20s, 45s.

Medium yellow - light brown liquor color.

Beautiful perfume / bouquet! I loved smelling the bottom of my cup, and then the wet leaves in my gaiwan (repeat many times over). The aftertaste was also very pleasant and lingering. I can’t really describe the smell, except with ordinary words: “Floral, fruity, with a tint of grass. Sweet smelling. Classy. Beautiful.”

On my palate, this tea was light bodied and airy. Such was my impression because there is an absence of mouthfeel in the mid-section of my tongue, giving an impression of a hole, or as I usually describe teas and wines with such feel, a “doughnut hole.” It’s not necessarily a bad thing, though personally I prefer a whole mouthfeel, even in light-bodied teas and wines. The texture of this tea was smooth.

I thought this “doughnut hole” might be due to the water I used. After 3 brews, I switched from using New Zealand artesian water to using Arrowhead spring water. Two days later, I decided to brew this tea again (same parameter) using Crystal Geyser spring water, which is a personal favorite. The hollowness, however, still persisted with all 3 types of good water.

Overall: The lack of mouthfeel is more than made up by its excellent perfume and aftertaste. Mild, calming cha qi.

3+ stars (g – vg!)

4 comments:

MarshalN said...

It's a Taiwanese light roast oolong -- it's going to be terrible for mouthfeel. It's actually probably the most characteristic thing for Taiwan tea -- that it's rather thin and a bit boring that way. Smells better than it tastes.

~ Phyll said...

True. But I was so mesmerized by its bouquet! Couldn't put my empty cup down...kept smelling the leaves.

Stephane said...

Thanks for this detailed description. I also liked the fact that you tried different waters to see their impact. This is something only true connaisseurs do. Bravo!

In my naming, I describe it as 'light' roasted, but this should compare to most modern Taiwanese Oolongs that are almost not roasted at all (for which smell counts more than taste, as Marshaln rightfully points out.)

This Oolong is a little riper (but not too ripe either) and is achieving a good balance between the 2, in my opinion.

~ Phyll said...

Thank you for the comment, Stephane. It was a lovely tea.