- Nantou Dong Ding Oolong Background
- Dong Ding Preparation
Our Nantou Dong Ding is a heavily roasted Oolong from Taiwan. It is different than most other Oolongs, in that you won't taste any fresh greens, spinach, or grass here.
The leaf of the tea is a dark, almost stone colored Oolong which looks just as alive and fresh as any lighter roast around. The nose is sharp and smoky, like hookah smoke, and hints at a strong tannic backbone. The midpalate has notes of caramel, grain, harder minerals, like river rocks, and light, sweet tobacco. The mouthfeel and finish of the tea are strong, well balanced, and full-bodied. There is no bitterness on the finish at all, and you'll walk away from this tea with a heavy coating of caramel mouthfeel. Be sure to exhale sharply from your gut up through your nose after a your first cup – your entire head will fill up with the flavor, and unique character of this tea. This Dong Ding is excellent to place alongside a lighter Oolong tea like our Alishan Jinxuan Zhangshuhu, or our Tiequanyin Supreme in a side by side tasting.
Ingredients: Artisan oolong tea
Origin: Nantou, Taiwan
Our Nantou Dong Ding is entirely handcrafted by Tea Master Gao Que of Pure Hearts Seeking Tea in Taiwan. Master Gao Que's family has been making tea for three full generations, a fact which clearly shines through in all of his teas. He takes extreme pride in producing teas of only the highest quality, which is evident with our Alishan Jinxuan. Upon examination of the balled tea leaves pre-brew, you get a real sense for how much care went into his tea. It’s color, size, spread, are all remarkably uniform. Further, you will find minimal breakage upon examination of the infused leaf. Master Gao Que tries to keep his prices relatively low by selling teas out of the first floor of his own home, the home he was born and raised in, to avoid fees for commercial real estate. He has been making teas for the past 15 years, and regularly judges at local tea competitions.
Master Gao Que only selects the best raw materials from gardens and growers he trusts based on relationships he has had in the industry himself for 15+ years, and which his family has had for generations. Gao Que buys his leaves from gardens throughout Taiwan based on the product he wants to make. After carefully choosing the best quality tea leaves from his suppliers, he handles the rest of the process himself, occasionally employing the aid of his wife and two daughters. His goal is always to create the truest expression of the teas which he makes (sometimes swimming against popular convention). Master Gao Que often creates better expressions of the teas from a given garden than the garden does itself (a lot of gardens in Taiwan just grow the leaves, don't actually prepare & perfect the tea), so we always like to give the most credit for Master Gao Que's teas to Master Gao Que himself.
Before devoting his life to tea Master Gao Que ran a printing shop for several years after graduating from college in Taiwan. One day he decided that he had had enough of the rat race, that the chemicals from his printing work were too harsh for his body, and that he wanted a simpler lifestyle. After he decided he wanted a change, he closed his business down inside of 24 hours, and moved back to the house he grew up in to start a business.
Water Temperature: 190-200 degrees
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1- 2 rounded tsp. (3-5 grams)
Steep Time: 1st Infusion: 40 seconds
2nd Infusion: 45 seconds
3rd Infusion: 50 seconds
Add 10 seconds for each subsequent infusion
Number of Infusions: Up to 5 depending upon brewing method
Oolong tea is best brewed gongfu style using an earthenware pot or a gaiwan using a high leaf to water ratio. We recommend using 3-5 grams (approximately 1-2 rounded tsp.) per 6 ounces of water. Bring the water to approximately 190 degrees--just below the boiling point. Put the tea into a prewarmed pot or gaiwan and pour the water directly over the tea leaves. Steep for approximately 40 seconds. If using a pot with a mesh infuser, remove the leaves and set aside for the second infusion. (Most oolong teas are blanched very briefly and that water is poured off. There are a number of reasons for this, one of which is to rinse off any inpurities. Tea Master Gao Que does not think this is necessary with this particular tea. As you will see for yourselves, this tea is very clean and has minimal breakage.) using a pot without an infuser, decant the tea into a serving pitcher or directly into the cups, but do not leave the leaves in the water. We strongly encourage our customers to use teapots with large mesh infusers to allow the leaves to fully expand in the water. The infuser can then be removed after the preferred steeping time and then re-used for subsequent infusions. Failing that, we recommend decanting the tea into a clean warm pot or serving pitcher. This tea can be infused several times.