Leaf Type: Oolong
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Also known as a Dong Ding Oolong, this tea has a woodsy aroma with notes of granola and butterscotch, which tease you into a heavy-bodied soup that has the minerality or river rocks and a malty flavor that some say is akin to a carefully crafted Indian Pale Ale. Forget the hollowness of a caffeine rush, this assertive tea comes with a boost of chi that energises you from the inside out and it’s coming to takeover the west!
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I love the sweet, nutty notes of a Dong Ding like this Frozen Summit Oolong from Dachi Tea.
The aroma of the dry leaf is nutty, a little sweet and there are some fresh vegetal tones to the fragrance as well. The leaves are tightly wound into pellets that unfurl slowly as they brew. The brewed tea has a stronger nutty scent, but I found that the vegetal notes had softened with the brewed cup. I noticed that as the tea “pellets” began to open, there are quite a few stems in this tea.
To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan and measured a bamboo scoop of tea into the bowl. Then I heated the water to 180°F and performed a re-awakening rinse for 15 seconds, discarding the liquid. Then I steeped my first infusion for 45 seconds. I strained the tea into my teacup and steeped the leaves again, this time for 1 full minute. I combined the first two infusions into my teacup and now it’s time to enjoy! (I repeated the process for cups 2 and 3!)
I found the tasting notes from Dachi Tea to be interesting, because I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone describing the nutty notes of a Dong Ding as “granola” but I totally get it. Yeah, there’s a warm, nutty flavor (and scent) and there is an almost ‘oat-y’ quality to it as well. Hints of honey too! I don’t smell (or taste) much of a butterscotch essence – at least not yet. I look forward to discovering that flavor (hopefully) in the infusions to follow.
The tea has a pleasant, rich mouthfeel. It is very soothing, like a broth.
Overall, this cup is a light tasting cup – but that light flavor won’t last! I can already pick up on notes of mineral in the distance and a slight vegetal note to the flavor. The vegetal note is less obvious than the roasty-toasty, nutty flavors, but every once in a while, I pick up on a slight taste of vegetation with whispers of flower weaving its way into the sip.
I suspect in the next cup, I’ll enjoy stronger flavors and hopefully that butterscotch note will reveal itself!
Ah! There it is! The butterscotch! I can definitely smell it (as well as the nutty notes) in this second cup and I can taste the butterscotch notes too. This is cup is sweet and nutty – just like the first – but I think that the sweeter notes are even more intense this time around! Mmm!
I’m tasting fewer of the aforementioned vegetal notes and few of the floral tones that I discovered with the first cup. I’m also picking up on some light malt notes as mentioned in Dachi’s tasting notes, reminiscent of the few ‘gourmet’ beers that I’ve tasted. (‘Gourmet’ beers should be interpreted as something that costs $6.99 a can rather than $6.99 a six-pack.)
There is a slightly dry finish to this cup, but I only really notice it when I’m trying to find out if I notice any astringency to the cup. That is to say, it’s not a strong astringency or something that really stands out unless I’m trying to ‘find’ it.
The third and final cup was smoother than the second. I found the second cup to be sweeter but the third cup to be more unified and even less astringent than the second. I pick up on hints of apple in this cup. The sweet notes are more like honey than they are butterscotch. The aforementioned malt notes are less noticeable this time.
Overall, this is a really enjoyable cup and I’m thrilled that I got to try it. I love that Dachi Tea has reached their goal on Kickstarter and will, therefore, be funded. I also love the packaging of this company! Inside the box was a beautiful metallic, coppery gift bag that has been labeled with Dachi’s logo, and inside the gift bag are their four flagship Oolong teas. (So, needless to say, I’ll be reviewing the other three teas very soon!)
This new company approached me to help spread the word about their up-and-coming company as well as their Kickstarter campaign which has been enormously successful. However, every bit helps, so why not consider supporting Dachi on Kickstarter and get some really great perks in the process (in this case, perks = tea and other great stuff!) This Kickstarter campaign ends soon!