OOlong Identification needed


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

Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby Senchamatcha » May 2nd, '13, 12:24

I Have ordered some of the dong ding from taiwan tea crafts. When it arrives I will let you know if it ended up being similar to my mystery oolong. :D
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby ABx » May 6th, '13, 23:08

wyardley wrote:Roasted is not undesirable, but, as with TGY, the demand mostly skews towards greener stuff these days (with maybe a bit more interest in somewhat oxidized, medium roast stuff in the past few years).

Also, there's a difference between stuff with a balanced roast and stuff with a heavy roast. Not that the latter is bad per se, but it usually doesn't command a high price, esp. if it's as broken up as the example here.

My understanding is that within Taiwan people mostly drink roasted. However, with most of the mainland being green tea drinkers (among other reasons), most of what's exported is greener.

Roasted DD is definitely not undesirable; roasting is what DD is known for, and wulong from other areas with similar roast are referred to as "DD style" (kind of like how Tabasco is synonymous with 'hot sauce' and Coke for 'cola').
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby SilentChaos » May 6th, '13, 23:16

ABx wrote:
wyardley wrote:Roasted is not undesirable, but, as with TGY, the demand mostly skews towards greener stuff these days (with maybe a bit more interest in somewhat oxidized, medium roast stuff in the past few years).

Also, there's a difference between stuff with a balanced roast and stuff with a heavy roast. Not that the latter is bad per se, but it usually doesn't command a high price, esp. if it's as broken up as the example here.

My understanding is that within Taiwan people mostly drink roasted. However, with most of the mainland being green tea drinkers (among other reasons), most of what's exported is greener.


That was the case one generation ago. Within Taiwan, most of the oolong that's sold is actually maocha - completely unroasted just some heat to drive out water contents that's it.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby Poohblah » May 7th, '13, 01:26

ABx wrote:
wyardley wrote:Roasted is not undesirable, but, as with TGY, the demand mostly skews towards greener stuff these days (with maybe a bit more interest in somewhat oxidized, medium roast stuff in the past few years).

Also, there's a difference between stuff with a balanced roast and stuff with a heavy roast. Not that the latter is bad per se, but it usually doesn't command a high price, esp. if it's as broken up as the example here.

My understanding is that within Taiwan people mostly drink roasted. However, with most of the mainland being green tea drinkers (among other reasons), most of what's exported is greener.

Roasted DD is definitely not undesirable; roasting is what DD is known for, and wulong from other areas with similar roast are referred to as "DD style" (kind of like how Tabasco is synonymous with 'hot sauce' and Coke for 'cola').
Thanks for the insight! :!:
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby ABx » May 7th, '13, 02:01

SilentChaos wrote:
ABx wrote:
wyardley wrote:Roasted is not undesirable, but, as with TGY, the demand mostly skews towards greener stuff these days (with maybe a bit more interest in somewhat oxidized, medium roast stuff in the past few years).

Also, there's a difference between stuff with a balanced roast and stuff with a heavy roast. Not that the latter is bad per se, but it usually doesn't command a high price, esp. if it's as broken up as the example here.

My understanding is that within Taiwan people mostly drink roasted. However, with most of the mainland being green tea drinkers (among other reasons), most of what's exported is greener.


That was the case one generation ago. Within Taiwan, most of the oolong that's sold is actually maocha - completely unroasted just some heat to drive out water contents that's it.

Melody (Zen8tea) is a distributor in Taiwan, and sells low- to mid-roast almost exclusively. Perhaps they're slightly different markets.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby Tead Off » May 7th, '13, 09:31

SilentChaos wrote:
ABx wrote:
wyardley wrote:Roasted is not undesirable, but, as with TGY, the demand mostly skews towards greener stuff these days (with maybe a bit more interest in somewhat oxidized, medium roast stuff in the past few years).

Also, there's a difference between stuff with a balanced roast and stuff with a heavy roast. Not that the latter is bad per se, but it usually doesn't command a high price, esp. if it's as broken up as the example here.

My understanding is that within Taiwan people mostly drink roasted. However, with most of the mainland being green tea drinkers (among other reasons), most of what's exported is greener.


That was the case one generation ago. Within Taiwan, most of the oolong that's sold is actually maocha - completely unroasted just some heat to drive out water contents that's it.

The trend is definitely towards the greener stuff. This has meant the loss of the art of the roast. It's very difficult to find excellent roasted gaoshan or Dong Ding these days. I've had so many middling roasted DD's including Hojo's feeble attempt at a roasted DD that I've given up. But, I've also had too many middling unroasted DD's that I've come to the conclusion that good DD has become something of a phantom to me.

A few years back, EOT had some good roasted Lishan that really sung. I'm certainly glad that Wuyi teas have not lost their way.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby SilentChaos » May 7th, '13, 09:38

All is not lost. There are still good roasted teas in TW (mostly roasted by people like 3 times my age). They just haven't made it out of TW yet. Though you're right, it's getting harder to find them.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby Senchamatcha » May 10th, '13, 11:53

Well. I got my dong ding in the mail this afternoon.
I opened one of the very tiny packages. Took a whiff. Retrieved my other Mystery oolong container and took a whiff.
After much deliberating... I must say. They are exactly the same. Only the newer dong ding has a slightly greenish smell to it.
Mystery oolong = (probably slightly aged) Dong Ding Oolong.
Thanks everyone! :lol: :mrgreen: I now know what oolong I like and where to get it. <3
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby gingkoseto » May 10th, '13, 22:01

Tead Off wrote:The trend is definitely towards the greener stuff. This has meant the loss of the art of the roast. It's very difficult to find excellent roasted gaoshan or Dong Ding these days.


It's all relative. Roasted dong ding is much easier to find than many other teas. There are various Taiwan oolong competitions with roasted categories. And competition award recipients are not rare. There are dozens or even hundreds of award-winning products (whose owners' names are published by each competition and for multiple times if having multiple winning products so one could count the number of winners) - down to the lowest level of awards, but still awards tea and good quality.

High mountain (gao shan) oolong is a different story. The concept of Taiwan high mountain oolong introduced the green style oolong (which was later learned by Fujian Tie Guan Yin and other oolongs) and the original goal of the style is to preserve the high mountain taste by light oxidation. So it would be a little paradoxical to ask for roasted high mountain oolong. Roasted high mountain oolong is made by some outstanding producers. But not many producers have the guts to do it or the skills to do it without ruining the high mountain tastes.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby Tead Off » May 10th, '13, 23:06

gingkoseto wrote:
Tead Off wrote:The trend is definitely towards the greener stuff. This has meant the loss of the art of the roast. It's very difficult to find excellent roasted gaoshan or Dong Ding these days.


It's all relative. Roasted dong ding is much easier to find than many other teas. There are various Taiwan oolong competitions with roasted categories. And competition award recipients are not rare. There are dozens or even hundreds of award-winning products (whose owners' names are published by each competition and for multiple times if having multiple winning products so one could count the number of winners) - down to the lowest level of awards, but still awards tea and good quality.

High mountain (gao shan) oolong is a different story. The concept of Taiwan high mountain oolong introduced the green style oolong (which was later learned by Fujian Tie Guan Yin and other oolongs) and the original goal of the style is to preserve the high mountain taste by light oxidation. So it would be a little paradoxical to ask for roasted high mountain oolong. Roasted high mountain oolong is made by some outstanding producers. But not many producers have the guts to do it or the skills to do it without ruining the high mountain tastes.

Sounds like a rosy picture you paint, but I don't think it is. Maybe if you're living in Taiwan and make a real effort to find good roasted teas, then you can find. I have been mainly disappointed in the roasted teas, both DD and gaoshan. These have been bought through online vendors. I found there is a real decline in the last 5 years. Perhaps my standard is different than others. Gaoshan is usually not roasted heavily and when it is done well, it is good. No paradox there. Like TGY, there are at least 3 styles that dominate, green, light roast, heavier roast. To do the heavier roast is the hardest. But, I prefer the light roast over the heavier, usually, and the green most of all.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby ABx » May 11th, '13, 05:12

Tead Off wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:
Tead Off wrote:The trend is definitely towards the greener stuff. This has meant the loss of the art of the roast. It's very difficult to find excellent roasted gaoshan or Dong Ding these days.


It's all relative. Roasted dong ding is much easier to find than many other teas. There are various Taiwan oolong competitions with roasted categories. And competition award recipients are not rare. There are dozens or even hundreds of award-winning products (whose owners' names are published by each competition and for multiple times if having multiple winning products so one could count the number of winners) - down to the lowest level of awards, but still awards tea and good quality.

High mountain (gao shan) oolong is a different story. The concept of Taiwan high mountain oolong introduced the green style oolong (which was later learned by Fujian Tie Guan Yin and other oolongs) and the original goal of the style is to preserve the high mountain taste by light oxidation. So it would be a little paradoxical to ask for roasted high mountain oolong. Roasted high mountain oolong is made by some outstanding producers. But not many producers have the guts to do it or the skills to do it without ruining the high mountain tastes.

Sounds like a rosy picture you paint, but I don't think it is. Maybe if you're living in Taiwan and make a real effort to find good roasted teas, then you can find. I have been mainly disappointed in the roasted teas, both DD and gaoshan. These have been bought through online vendors. I found there is a real decline in the last 5 years.

Nothing you're saying really contradicts what gingko, I, and/or others have said here.

Many people have noticed that Taiwanese wulong in general has dropped off a bit since about 2007 and before (some thought 2007 was a poor year), and not just roasted teas, which would be because of weather and such (floods can especially take some time to completely recover from).

The market has also changed a bit as the economic situation over there has changed.

However, people in Taiwan (even visiting tea folk) don't have a particularly difficult time finding good roasted wulong, although the top quality teas are always going to be more difficult to get than the cheaper stuff -- especially when the locals to that region (especially China) have a rapidly growing middle class that likes to buy quality tea as a status symbol. Compare that to the largely ignorant west, in which the demand for quality tea (nevermind quality roasted tea) is quite low, and most of whom will pay premium prices for mid-grade tea (or less).

In other words, a lot of the good stuff isn't going to make it to the internet stores -- especially the English language sites, and especially with increasing local demand. Why bother with online sales when it's moving fast enough in the physical stores, where you don't have to deal with the extra shipping and handling? The lower quality stuff has higher profit margins, and they often prefer to sell the good stuff to people they know can appreciate it.

The greener stuff is just what sells the most outside of Taiwan. The bulk of their export goes to mainland China where the majority drink green tea.

It's getting harder to find the good teas of any type, but that doesn't mean that roasting is a dying practice.

Tead Off wrote:Perhaps my standard is different than others.

That kind of speculation is dangerous. When there's a difference between your experience and everyone else's, the difference isn't always in your favor. The chances are that it's just circumstance/happenstance, but ego games can be played all day long, which nobody wins.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby ABx » May 11th, '13, 05:21

ABx wrote:
SilentChaos wrote:
ABx wrote:
wyardley wrote:Roasted is not undesirable, but, as with TGY, the demand mostly skews towards greener stuff these days (with maybe a bit more interest in somewhat oxidized, medium roast stuff in the past few years).

Also, there's a difference between stuff with a balanced roast and stuff with a heavy roast. Not that the latter is bad per se, but it usually doesn't command a high price, esp. if it's as broken up as the example here.

My understanding is that within Taiwan people mostly drink roasted. However, with most of the mainland being green tea drinkers (among other reasons), most of what's exported is greener.


That was the case one generation ago. Within Taiwan, most of the oolong that's sold is actually maocha - completely unroasted just some heat to drive out water contents that's it.

Melody (Zen8tea) is a distributor in Taiwan, and sells low- to mid-roast almost exclusively. Perhaps they're slightly different markets.

I have heard, though, that a lot of unprocessed leaf (maocha) is traded around Taiwan to be processed by the producers (or perhaps individual tea masters) of different areas.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby SilentChaos » May 11th, '13, 14:05

gingkoseto wrote:It's all relative. Roasted dong ding is much easier to find than many other teas. There are various Taiwan oolong competitions with roasted categories. And competition award recipients are not rare. There are dozens or even hundreds of award-winning products (whose owners' names are published by each competition and for multiple times if having multiple winning products so one could count the number of winners) - down to the lowest level of awards, but still awards tea and good quality.


You're speaking of the Lugu Roasted DD competition? What is called Dong Ding these days in Taiwan is a lot broader than most would think. Oolongs from all over the country, and not just Dong Ding or even Lugu, are acceptable entries into the competitions, which favours an extremely specific kind of taste and level/style of roast, so specific that northern and southern TW roasters use it as common reference point when talking about the levels of roast. It's now known as THE Lugu-Dong-Ding-competition roast.

Also, compared to the entire TW oolong production, the combined quantity of all the roasted oolongs that's entered competitions, their combined quantity is a tiny fraction of the entire tw oolong production.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby Senchamatcha » May 11th, '13, 16:02

Update, I broke into the bag of Formosa I also purchased.
:shock: The smell is slightly like the other two dong dings but with a very distinctly different nutty, almondy/sweet red cherry like smell (it's a middle note) and it also has some other smell I can't place along with that very deep dry grape leaves smell (OMG I LOVE THAT SMELL). It tastes similarish to the dong ding but also distinctly different . It's more like the dong ding I purchased and less like the Mystery Oolong (declared dong ding now). I know I just confused everyone!
I might consider it as a permanent feature in my on going collection of teas, It shall be the "I want dong ding, but I don't want to make an expensive cup of tea right now... so I'll just make this" tea. Because it does taste slightly similar, different but close enough I could get used to it.
the dong ding was $10. the Formosa a measly $5. Formosa might become my sunday breakfast tea.
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Re: OOlong Identification needed

Postby gingkoseto » May 11th, '13, 16:30

SilentChaos wrote:
gingkoseto wrote:It's all relative. Roasted dong ding is much easier to find than many other teas. There are various Taiwan oolong competitions with roasted categories. And competition award recipients are not rare. There are dozens or even hundreds of award-winning products (whose owners' names are published by each competition and for multiple times if having multiple winning products so one could count the number of winners) - down to the lowest level of awards, but still awards tea and good quality.


You're speaking of the Lugu Roasted DD competition? What is called Dong Ding these days in Taiwan is a lot broader than most would think. Oolongs from all over the country, and not just Dong Ding or even Lugu, are acceptable entries into the competitions, which favours an extremely specific kind of taste and level/style of roast, so specific that northern and southern TW roasters use it as common reference point when talking about the levels of roast. It's now known as THE Lugu-Dong-Ding-competition roast.

Also, compared to the entire TW oolong production, the combined quantity of all the roasted oolongs that's entered competitions, their combined quantity is a tiny fraction of the entire tw oolong production.

That's why I said "it's all relative". I've found it convenient to use (and I know, a little tricky too...) as an opening sentence for many things :lol:

I think it's ok if the tea is made in dong ding style and not from Lu Gu. Within a relatively small region, the tea cultivar and processing style are more determinant for the tea taste than the geographic spot. But even if one cares much about the tea exactly from Dong Ding mountain (and has extra time to spend), I think one can still find the addresses from the published tea winners list.

There are a few tea competitions within Nan Tou county alone (plus the source of Lu Gu farmer coop). That's why I would think it's not that hard to get roasted dong ding. The production is much larger than many other teas.
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