Off to a good start...


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Off to a good start...

Postby Vulture » Dec 1st, '08, 22:37

I think I am off to a decent start with oolongs as I ordered this today:

Organic Qi Zhong Oolong (4 oz.)
Huang Kuan Yin (1 oz.)
Fire Kuan Yin (1 oz.)
Iron Goddess of Mercy - Anxi (1 oz.)
Tung Ting, Charcoal Roasted (1 oz.)

All from Red Blossom Tea. I also got a 6oz gaiwan for use at work but that's a different forum...

I believe I prefer the darker oolongs but I thought this would be a decent starting set of oolongs to play with...

Edit: I also have an Adagio Ali Shan to play with too
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Postby leiche » Dec 1st, '08, 23:40

The charcoal roasted Tung Ting is so heavily roasted that it is charcoal, or at least the batch I got a week ago is. Seriously, the leaves don't unfurl at all, resemble sort of crispy-crumbly black rocks, and the brewed tea tastes like coffee. Hopefully your experience will be different!

The Anxi TGY is pretty good, and tastes a bit like toasted marshmallows to me. Now that I think of it, everything other than that charcoal roasted Tung Ting is at least decent. (Why yes, I order from Red Blossom often-ish...)
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Postby Victoria » Dec 1st, '08, 23:58

Well, Red Blossom and I don't match well.
But that may mean good news for you Vulture, since I prefer light roasts
and greener oolongs.
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Postby edkrueger » Dec 2nd, '08, 00:23

I really love Red Blossom. Almost everything is good, but there was a TGY there I thought was the most horrific tea. It was the Jade TGY. I have never had anything in your order.
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Postby ABx » Dec 2nd, '08, 01:51

leiche wrote:The charcoal roasted Tung Ting is so heavily roasted that it is charcoal, or at least the batch I got a week ago is. Seriously, the leaves don't unfurl at all, resemble sort of crispy-crumbly black rocks, and the brewed tea tastes like coffee. Hopefully your experience will be different!
The nice thing about heavily roasted oolongs like that is that if you don't like them now then you can just seal them up tight and forget about them for a few years :) After a few years of aging the charcoal should die down and give you something much nicer.
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Postby Vulture » Dec 3rd, '08, 13:01

I think the best thing so far on this is that they shipped it on 12/2 and it is scheduled to be delivered 12/4 while all I used was ground shipping. :twisted:
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Postby gingkoseto » Dec 3rd, '08, 16:14

ABx wrote:
leiche wrote:The charcoal roasted Tung Ting is so heavily roasted that it is charcoal, or at least the batch I got a week ago is. Seriously, the leaves don't unfurl at all, resemble sort of crispy-crumbly black rocks, and the brewed tea tastes like coffee. Hopefully your experience will be different!
The nice thing about heavily roasted oolongs like that is that if you don't like them now then you can just seal them up tight and forget about them for a few years :) After a few years of aging the charcoal should die down and give you something much nicer.


The charcoal roasted Tung Ting (Dong Ding) I got from China has the same feature. I would say I HATE it! It did come with a nice yixing kind of tea can, and at least the package doesn't make it look like some crappy stuff. But, I guess this is the first ever oolong product that I HATE. I felt my head was burnt by this product and later I had to wash my stomach with a long session of green roast TGY. I like heavy roast coffee, so I don't think it's because I couldn't handle the heavy roast of this tea. It simply tastes like black-burnt.

But it's good to hear what ABx said. Now at least I don't have to regretfully throw it away. I will keep it and see what it will develop into. It's very possible time will cure it. My tea is a 6 year old dong ding, so I guess the vendor wouldn't want to wait for a few more years before selling it. But I still worry a little bit. What if it was over burnt from the beginning (like over-toasted bread)? Will it still get better over years?
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Postby wyardley » Dec 3rd, '08, 16:58

gingko wrote:But it's good to hear what ABx said. Now at least I don't have to regretfully throw it away. I will keep it and see what it will develop into. It's very possible time will cure it. My tea is a 6 year old dong ding, so I guess the vendor wouldn't want to wait for a few more years before selling it. But I still worry a little bit. What if it was over burnt from the beginning (like over-toasted bread)? Will it still get better over years?


I think it requires skill on the part of the roaster. With too strong a roast, to the point where there's nothing else left, I don't think the tea will ever be great tea, though some of the charcoal taste will fade, and the tea might be somewhat pleasant (though one-dimensional) to drink. With too weak a roast, the tea won't keep for as long, or won't develop that nice roasty taste.

I have a couple teas from my trip to China that are (I think) over-roasted. Only time will tell whether they improve in a couple of years. One of them especially is roasted to a crisp.

I've definitely seen roasted teas that have gone from having sharp, acrid overtones to having a pleasant, well balanced taste, though.
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Postby ABx » Dec 3rd, '08, 17:41

Yeah, there's no guarantee, but if you're on the verge of throwing it out then just wait a few years (you know, like everything else in the closet that everyone always says they're going to clean out :D ) Sometimes brewing it while being careful to maximize the heat (like in a yixing pot that is thoroughly pre-heated and then showered while steeping) can bring out the deeper flavors. I have a few that you can only taste the roast if steeped too cool.

This is just speculation though, ginko. You may very well have something that was really over-roasted or even burnt; without trying it I'd have know way of saying. It might be worth trying if you are inclined to do so.
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Postby Vulture » Dec 3rd, '08, 23:13

gingko wrote:The charcoal roasted Tung Ting (Dong Ding) I got from China has the same feature.


I am not on the up and up on all the teas names yet. SO Tung Ting is a Dong Ding? I know Iron Goddess of Mercy is TKY. All these names have gotten me confused hehe but I will learn them eventually.
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Postby wyardley » Dec 3rd, '08, 23:35

Vulture wrote:
gingko wrote:The charcoal roasted Tung Ting (Dong Ding) I got from China has the same feature.


I am not on the up and up on all the teas names yet. SO Tung Ting is a Dong Ding? I know Iron Goddess of Mercy is TKY. All these names have gotten me confused hehe but I will learn them eventually.


Just different romanizations of the same Chinese characters. See:
viewtopic.php?p=58991#58991
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Postby Vulture » Dec 4th, '08, 01:18

wyardley wrote:Just different romanizations of the same Chinese characters. See:
viewtopic.php?p=58991#58991


Ah ok cool that helps. I heard Dong Dings were difficult to brew correctly so I didn't want to order one right away. I did want to try something charcoal roasted and ended up getting a Dong Ding anyways... :x
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Postby stanthegoomba » Dec 4th, '08, 01:29

Dong dings are problematic (like most of the famous named teas) and I can't even think of one I could recommend at the moment. I'm looking forward to your impressions.
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Postby gingkoseto » Dec 4th, '08, 14:12

Thanks ABx and wyardley for sharing experience. I will definitely keep the tea for a few years till the next time I collect some courage to try it out :D

I do consider evacuate the tea from its tea can and use the can for some other tea that I like better :P
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Postby gingkoseto » Dec 4th, '08, 14:17

Vulture wrote:
wyardley wrote:Just different romanizations of the same Chinese characters. See:
viewtopic.php?p=58991#58991


Ah ok cool that helps. I heard Dong Dings were difficult to brew correctly so I didn't want to order one right away. I did want to try something charcoal roasted and ended up getting a Dong Ding anyways... :x


I actually feel dong ding, especially darker roast kind, is much easier to handle than most greener oolongs. The charcoal roast, I guess it varies a lot among products. I got a "medium roast" from the same vendor who gave me the charcoal roast that I didn't like. And I found his "medium roast" is pretty good and already heavier than many dark roasts. Probably people from his place just like it VERY DARK :P
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