Formosa Tung Ting Jade Oolong?


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

Formosa Tung Ting Jade Oolong?

Postby chef_darnell » Jan 22nd, '08, 01:17

I am currious what everyone thinks of this oolong. I recieved it as a gift and am currious what the best brew time would be. The supplier says boiling water for 1 to 2 min one tsp per 6oz.
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Postby Salsero » Jan 22nd, '08, 02:44

I have a good quality Tung Ting (or Dong Ding in Pinyin) that I brew 4 grams in 6 oz of water, 1 minute for the first and second infusions, then 3 m, 5 m, and 10 m. I estimate that 4 grams is about 2 level teaspoons of leaves if they are rolled into very tight little balls, use a greater volume if the balls are less tightly rolled, maybe 2.5 to 3 tsp.

Your supplier's suggestion sounds a little weak to me, but there's no one rule for these things. Less tea and more time could work out fine. Experiment a little and see how you like it best. Premium teas are actually much less processed than many of the agricultual products we buy, so the variation from one Dong Ding or Long Jing to another can be appreciable and affect the brewing technique you apply.
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Postby Chip » Jan 22nd, '08, 04:08

Holy smokes, I would not pour boiling water on this leaf. I love Tung Ting from Taiwan and start with a lower temp, preheating the pot. I find this will yield a more delicate brew and a lovely rewarding aroma.

Perhaps they do not preheat. Thus the higher temp. It would cool down very quickly.

I usually go 2-3 minutes for the first steep, and can get up to 5 steeps, more if it is in the evening and a new tea is not an option. I add time and increase tem after the second steep.

Nurturing the leaf along may yield hours of enjoyment.
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 22nd, '08, 04:25

I think if you go the more leaf / less time method as Salsero recommends, you can get away with using boiling water (even when the brewing vessel is preheated); I actually think this brings out better flavor, but I also keep the steep times down to limit stewing / cooking. I would definitely go with cooler water if you plan on doing initial steeps for longer than a minute, though.
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Postby Chip » Jan 22nd, '08, 04:33

No argument there...Scruff...or Salsero.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jan 22nd, '08, 15:18

Formosa indicates that it is a Taiwanese oolong, Tung Ting is the style, and Jade I am assuming is the cultivar or they tea plant type.
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Postby Mary R » Jan 22nd, '08, 15:54

Actually, I think "Jade" is just sort of some placeholder word to indicate it's a lightly oxidized oolong. It's sort of redundant in "Tung Ting," I guess...practically all of Tung Ting is lightly oxidized, no?
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Postby Chip » Jan 22nd, '08, 16:46

Tung Ting was originally named for the mountain area of Dong Ding Shan (Tung Ting Mountain)where it was originally grown. But the popularity of it far outweighs demand, so it refers more to the style of that area.

Jade is in reference to the green nature, color of the leaf. Most are more jade, but I recently had one that was at least 40% oxidized and was definitely not jade, but refered to as "classic," whatever that means. Nevertheless, it was dreamy.

I have read more and more about the source of the sweet honey nature on Dong Ding. According to several sources, it is due to excretions from cicadas. Because of this, the tea is grown in a pesticide free area, and almost always, at high altitude.

Hmmm, I need to read up on this again. Are the excretions the result of transpiration or are they from waste, bleh. Or is this all just myth. But the sweetness has to come from somewhere, and insects due excrete a "honey dew" in some cases, thus, ants will herd aphids for this so called honey dew.
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 22nd, '08, 17:08

Older styles of Dong Ding are more heavily oxidized and roasted, so that they would store better and survive longer transport. Today the more lightly processed oolongs (what "jade refers to, as Mary and Chip mentioned) are in fashion.

I don't know about the bug theories as far as Dong Ding goes, but with Bai Hao, I believe the process has to do with the leaf's reaction to being bitten. IIRC, the theory is that when damaged, the leaves produce more stuff ("stuff" is obviously not a technical term, I don't know what they actually produce more of) to try and repair themselves, so they are more flavorful than unmolested leaves.

That said, from the pictures I have seen of bitten leaves, they tend to oxidize rapidly while still on the plant, so this may only work for high oxidized oolongs like bai hao and darjeeling (supposedly this is also how there is a pronounced "muscatel" flavor in certain higher grade second flush Darjeeling teas).
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 22nd, '08, 17:14

This may be slightly off topic, but here are a couple of comments by Ankit Lochan on what makes "muscatel"-labeled Darjeelings different from regular Darjeelings (please forgive his lack of formatting, they are blog comments after all):

[comment 1]

muscatel teas are produced only in the second flush period within a time span of 10 days when a certain insect bites the leaves and the leaves tend to curl up a bit - this can be seen in the fields and the maximum muscatel teas that a tea estate can produce in one year is 2000 kilos (a garden producing 200,000 kilos in total.)muscatel teas taste diffrent from other teas - the taste is disticnt and the muscatel flavor prominent - normally the time of plucking for these leaves is between the last week of may and the first two weeks of june.. varies from one plantation to other..

[comment 2]

the insect that gets onto the leaves are thrips .. they tend to suck out juice from the leaves of the tea leaf making it curl up - these curled up leaves are known to produce the really expensive world class muscatel teas.. i think it is the same effect in
taiwan -but i am not sure..

these thribs are rare and only come for a very short time in the second flush ... the leaves cannot be left too long also or the damage can be too much causing the made tea to be bad.. a lot of factors involved.. to make a pure muscatel tea is really a very hard job. everything needs to be perfect right from the time of plucking to the manufacturing .. the firing temperature also plays a very important role..
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Humm??

Postby hop_goblin » Jan 22nd, '08, 21:08

The word "Jade" may also be in reference to the color of leaf. However, I have always been told that the reference to Jade is the culivar. For instance:

Description: "Si Cha" is a generic name for sexually propagated (from seeds) native tea trees in Taiwan. We are familiar with common cultivars like Ching-Shing (green-centered), Jinxuan, Jade, etc. Those are asexually propagated (by cuttings or layerings) cultivars. Si Cha used to be important in Taiwan's oolong production, as they were the true native tea plants. For example, Si Cha used to be accounted for 50% of all Dong-Ding oolong productions before Ching-Shing cultivar became prevailing. Right now, Si Cha are mostly used for tea oil produciton.

http://tinyurl.com/2v36rc
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Postby Salsero » Jan 22nd, '08, 21:35

Very interesting. I also had always assumed that "jade" simply meant "green" or "lightly oxidized" (and maybe it really does for the bulk of US distributors since the term seems more common to the rather pedestrian offerings of US mega-distributors who don't specialize in anything.)

On the other hand, Guang at Hou De certainly knows of what he speaks. It might be worthwhile to e-mail an Upton or SpecialTeas and ask what they mean by "jade" in the name of their Formosa oolongs. Perhaps they really are informing us of the cultivar (but not the the harvest year?!).

Guang as quoted by hop_goblin wrote:Si Cha are mostly used for tea oil production


And that brings us full circle to the Long Jing question, the answer to which I still await from Daniel at TeaSpring via the Oracle of Chip.

Chip, did you ever contact Daniel about oils used in processing Chinese greens? If you did not, give me the green (jade) light and I will email him.
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Postby hop_goblin » Jan 22nd, '08, 23:05

Hey Sal, I will send an email to the vendors and see what they are referring to when they mean "jade".
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Postby Chip » Jan 22nd, '08, 23:42

Further complicating matters is there is also Jade TKY. TeaSpring has one which I had which was very reminiscent og Jade Tung Ting.

Sal, now I have 2 questions for Dan of TeaSpring. I will email him this evening. That completely slipped my mind. Humble apologies.
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Postby Salsero » Jan 22nd, '08, 23:55

Apologies for mental decline total unnecessary, your august mod squaderiness.
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