Green Style Dong Ding (oolong) by Fong Mong Tea

Steeping specs: 3 grams per half cup at 175° for five minutes

While steeping this tea, I didn’t observe much color change. The leaves unfurled quite a bit, having started out as small pills or pearls, but the tea liquid didn’t seem to change color all that much. However, after I removed the tea leaves, I could see that there was a gentle peach color to the liquid. It’s very light and transparent, not dark or strong-looking at all. What is remarkable, though, is the lovely roasted smell (disproportionately strong given how light the color is) and the high-quality leaves; after the leaves unfurled I could tell that they were highly intact and well preserved. And I could smell the wonderful roasted oolong fragrance long before tasting the tea itself.

At the first sip I’m detecting plenty of roast, plenty of nose, and a flavor that’s almost heading towards bitter but just barely managing to avoid it. Of course, I did steep the leaves about five degrees hotter than recommended, because my variable temperature kettle only has so many increments, so that could have something to do with it.

This turned out to be a tasty, toasty oolong with a very enjoyable balance between buttery and nutty flavors and a somewhat astringent feel. The liquid is not viscous or dark but still has plenty of flavor. This tea is also great with just a touch of sugar, which tames down the astringent effect a bit and brings out the floral aspect that was a bit buried under the roasted flavor before the sugar was added.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Oolong
Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea
Description

The hand-plucked leaves of Dong Ding Oolong are grown in the Dong Ding region of Taiwan at the elevation of 740 meters. At this elevation, the leaves absorb moisture from the surrounding fog and clouds every morning and afternoon which is ideal for Oolong plants. Due to the unique geographic location and stringent selection of leaves, this is the finest Dong Ding Oolong from the Dong Ding estate.

Dong Ding is well known of producing fine tea-Dong Ding Oolong Tea. Traditional baking technique by artisans and proper fermentation and baking procedure create an unforgettable extremely perfect flavor. Firstly tasted mellow with strong fragrance and then a sweet aftertaste quickly rising from the throat makes it famous for decades to all over the world. Drinking Dong Ding Oolong Tea is definitely an enjoyable lifestyle and also the exclusive choice for all tea lovers

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Taiwan Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea

AlishanHigh MountainTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea

Tea Description:

Developed around 15 years ago, the tea estates on Alishan area produce the newest type of high mountain oolongs. At the elevation of 1000 meters, the mountainsides are covered with fog or clouds which are ideal for growing Oolong. The tea estates are nestled in a beautiful scenic area with a 1000 years old forest nearby. 

Due to the unique local climate and selection criteria for the leaves, this tea is a high quality grade Alishan Oolong. The tea liquor has a pale yellow hue matching its faintly fresh aroma. Once tasted, the tea presents itself with a fresh taste followed by a faintly sweet aftertaste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

There are very few teas out there that make me happier than a lovely Alishan Oolong like this Taiwan Alishan High Mountain Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea.

I brewed this tea in my gaiwan.  I start with a bamboo scoop of tea in the bowl of the vessel and then I heat the water to 180°F.  I add just enough of the hot water to the gaiwan to cover the leaves and I let them steep for 15 seconds to rinse them.  Then I strain off the liquid and discard it.

I fill the gaiwan with hot water and let it steep for 45 seconds.  I add 15 seconds to each infusion that follows.  And because this is an Alishan – I strained the tea into my designated YiXing mug.  My first cup was the combination of infusions 1 -5 and my second cup was the combination of infusions 6 – 10.

The first thing I note is that the Alishan High Mountain is a little less creamy than the Alishan Jin Xuan.  This tea is more a celebration of floral flavors than the creamy, milky texture and flavor of the Jin Xuan.

This is sweet and delicate with beautiful floral tones – I taste orchid! – and very subtle butter tones.  Hints of rice mingle with the buttery notes.

In the background, I pick up notes of fruit.  This is a pleasantly sweet cup with some contrasting sharp notes from the floral notes.  It’s smooth from start to finish:  no bitterness and very little astringency.  The mouthfeel is thick and broth-y.  The aftertaste is sweet with notes of flower.

My second cup was not quite as thick in texture as the first and I noticed that more of the floral notes as well as some of the fruit notes have emerged while the whispers of vanilla that I experienced in the first cup have diminished.  This cup is still very sweet from the fruit notes and I’m picking up on distinct honey-esque notes now.

A beautiful, contemplative tea.  Really lovely – put this on your must try list!

Taiwan GABA Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea

GabaFongMongTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea

Tea Description:

GABA tea is an all-natural source of GABA. It was discovered more than 20 years ago by Japanese researchers looking for a natural method to preserve food. They discovered that tea which is oxidized in a nitrogen-rich atmosphere has a higher concentration of GABA elements than any other types of tea.  

GABA tea production involves exposing fresh tea leaves to nitrogen instead of oxygen. The fresh tea is placed in stainless steel vacuum drums and the oxygen is removed and replaced with nitrogen. The tea leaves are exposed to this nitrogen-rich atmosphere for about 8 hours. The temperature must be kept above 40 degrees Celsius for the duration of the processing. This procedure produces the highest concentrations of natural GABA.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Of the different Oolong types that are out there, I think that the one I’ve had the least amount of experience with are GABA Oolong teas.  To my recollection, I’ve had fewer than a handful of GABA teas.

But since it is an Oolong and not a “flavored” one, I’m going to brew it the same way I’d brew other Oolong teas:  in my gaiwan!  I “eyeballed” an amount of tea leaf that looked to be about a bamboo scoop.  I didn’t use the bamboo scoop because this leaf is so large and bulky and stemmy that it wouldn’t measure properly anyway.  So, I just eyeballed it.

The reason this tea is kind of “stemmy,” according to Fong Mong Tea:

The twigs contain the most enzyme. For the healthy purpose, we kept the most twigs for our tea consumers. 

I heated the water to 180°F.  I did a preliminary rinse of the leaves (15 second steep, then I strained the liquid and discarded it) and then I steeped the first infusion for 45 seconds and added 15 seconds to each subsequent infusion.  My first cup is comprised of the combination of infusions 1 and 2, the second cup is infusions 3 and 4, and … you get the drift.

This does taste different from the Oolong teas I’m typically drinking, but there are some familiar flavors here too.  It is sweet and nutty with delicate notes of spice.  It has a lighter flavor than a lot of Oolong teas – this doesn’t have that heavy “creamy” taste and texture that so many Oolong teas have.  There is some creaminess to this, but it’s much lighter.  I like the texture – it’s refreshing.

So it started me wondering, what is GABA Oolong, anyway?  I found this information on the listing for this tea in Fong Mong Tea’s ebay store:

GABA is an amino acid that is produced by the human body. GABA stands for Gamma-aminobutyric acid. Its main function is to inhibit the firing of neurons in the brain. Because of this inhibitory function, GABA sends messages to the brain, spinal cord, heart, lungs, and kidneys to slow down.

The second cup was a bit darker in color than the first and the flavor was also stronger.  It has a strong nutty flavor to it, and a roasty-toasty quality.  I’m picking up on subtle peach notes now.  The spice notes are more pronounced in this cup, I can taste mild notes of cinnamon and it’s quite nice!  Very autumnal tasting, this tea.

My third (and final) cup had a smoother taste, where the flavors – nutty, toasty, peach and spice – seemed to come together in a seamless flavor.  It’s quite pleasant and relaxing to sip.

A really lovely cup of Oolong.  Different, yes.  But different can be good and it is definitely good in the case of this GABA Oolong from Fong Mong Tea.