The first Dong-Ding is called "Xiao Ban Tian," and it's the greener of the two. This tea is an excellent option for those interested in branching out from our Lishan and Alishan oolongs; it's floral and full-bodied with less of a vegetal note than the Alishan and a bit more of a light fruity note than the Lishan. As you can see in the above picture, the tightly-balled leaves have a nice coat of down, indicating they were plucked quite young. As processing fashions change, I'm hard-pressed to identify what exactly defines a Dong-Ding as a Dong-Ding--I usually expect them to be more oxidized and roasted, but this is a solid high mountain oolong. According to Drew, "Dong-Ding" can be fairly applied to any teas from the Lugu region, which clears up the confusion on the appellation but still leaves us unsure what to expect a Dong-Ding to taste like until we actually try it!
The second Dong-Ding is from a mountain called Shan Lin Xi, one of the three most famous Taiwanese mountains. Its processing is more what I'd expect for a Dong-Ding--the leaves have received a light machine roast, visibly darkening their color just a tad. The liquor is still pure like the Xiao Ban Tian, but the roast accentuates the fruity note. Since we've been serving it, this tea has become even more exciting--it won the gold medal in the bi-annual Lugu Tea Competition. Lucky for us, we got ahold of our stock before the competition--gold medal winners increase drastically in price and supply becomes instantly scarce!
Finally there's our new High Mountain Baozhong. Baozhong is a classic Taiwanese tea--famed for both its loose, stripe-rolled appearance and its unparalleled floral notes. This organic Baozhong is totally au natural--it's quite stemmy, which adds a little rustic element to its appeal.The flavor, though, is classic Baozhong; lighter than pellet-rolled high mountain oolong, but with a floral nose that goes on and on. Baozhong is another great alternative to the standard high mountain teas, and it's also quite enjoyable iced.
Join us next time for another of our brand new teas--a traditional Charcoal-Roasted Dong-Ding!