Dong ding recommendation?

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May 1st 16 9:35 am
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Dong ding recommendation?

by Balthazar » May 1st 16 9:35 am

I earlier this year I bought a bag of Teahome's "Legend of Tung Ting", and was immediately reminded of why I love dong ding. Prior to this purchase I haven't bought dong ding for years, but now I'm really craving for it. I first though I'd pick up a bigger bag of Teahome's offering, but then I thought I better do some research to see what else is available.

I don't want to spend any more than about $15-18 per 100 grams, which limits my choices. I did find the "Legend" very good for its price, but then again it's been so long since I had dong ding that it might partially have been a nostalgic rekindling that would have happened almost regardless of the quality.

Taiwan Tea Crafts have two options within my price range (and one above): the ""Organic Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Lot 480" and the "Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Lot 453" (the one above my price range is the "High Mountain Heritage Dong Ding Oolong Tea, Lot 451").

The one from lot 480 is slightly more expensive than the one from lot 453, but the one from lot 453 is from a higher elevation (900m vs. 350m). The one from lot 453 is also of the same cultivar (Qing Xin) as the one that's priced above my budget, whereas the lot 480 one is from a different cultivar (or rather cultivars: Jin Xuan and Cui Yu). I understand that things are more complicated than "higher altitude = better", frankly I know nothing about how altitude affects the end product. I also know nothing about which cultivar is generally considered "better" for dong ding.

So I thought I would ask if anyone has tried these teas. The Taiwan Tea Crafts teas, while a bit pricier than Teahome's "Legend", comes with free shipping if you order for more than $50, and seeing how I plan to pick up 300g I will order for just above that sum. So shipping included, the price shouldn't bee that much more than Teahome's.

Feel free to recommend dong ding from other vendors if you have recommendations.

Edit: Regarding the varietals, Tea from Taiwanhas a short introduction that covers the ones mentioned in this post. Kayarazen mentions Jin Xuan as one of the "lower quality" varietals:
Generally tea from the green heart cultivar are thick and leather, and they are so full of flavour that you can keep steeping and pushing it. Jinxuan or other fourseason varietals, some of the red heart tie guanyin varietals, are thinner, and less “juicy”, and sometimes will run out of steam quite early into the steeps.

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May 5th 16 9:17 am
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Re: Dong ding recommendation?

by Mureke » May 5th 16 9:17 am

I greatly enjoyed the Organic Dong Ding, Lot 456. I've been thinking of ordering more in bulk. It's a creamy type of tea, though.

The traditional dong ding, which I think the "Legend of Tung Ting" represents, is more of deep peachy type of tea. If that's the style you're after, the Heritage Dong Ding should be more up your alley. I wouldn't be so bold as to order 300g of this tea without first trying a 25g sample. I've sampled this heritage tea a couple of times. I was blown away the first time, but I've since come to prefer the modern styles.

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Re: Dong ding recommendation?

by whatsinaname » May 5th 16 3:30 pm

Shuiwen at floatingleavestea.com has excellent dong ding that is a good value. The charcoal roasted stuff is really special, and sells out quickly.

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May 7th 16 10:31 am
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Re: Dong ding recommendation?

by Balthazar » May 7th 16 10:31 am

Thanks for the comments.

I've ordered tea from Floating Leaves before, which I was very happy with, but the "2016 Dong Ding Traditional" is bit more pricey than I had hoped (no doubt it's quality, though). I am actually planning to buy some samples from the farmer mentioned in kyarazen's post, which is in a similar price range. :)

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May 9th 16 5:15 pm
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Re: Dong ding recommendation?

by kyarazen » May 9th 16 5:15 pm

went up to dongding to inspect the conditions of the tea plantations...

spring tea was just picked a week ago :)

May 9th 16 10:06 pm
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Re: Dong ding recommendation?

by ethan » May 9th 16 10:06 pm

kyarazen wrote:went up to dongding to inspect the conditions of the tea plantations...

spring tea was just picked a week ago :)
I assume it was not ready for purchase while you were there, yes?

Tea harvested in November 2015 is sold as Winter 2016, showing the time leaves take to be processed etc.

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May 10th 16 2:07 am
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Re: Dong ding recommendation?

by kyarazen » May 10th 16 2:07 am

ethan wrote: I assume it was not ready for purchase while you were there, yes?

Tea harvested in November 2015 is sold as Winter 2016, showing the time leaves take to be processed etc.
maocha is ready and available, some really good ones are entirely booked on the whole batch. batching is a complicated subject though, since artisanally the tea picking may be split over a few days, and the weather/conditions/processing on each day can vary.

if charcoal roasted, then not ready for purchase. if electrical roasted or if the "plantation/factory" owner uses the high tech "one stop" type of machine, then tea can be available, as the machine spits out market ready teas quite efficiently.

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Re: Dong ding recommendation?

by ethan » May 10th 16 4:17 am

I am surprised about how quick it is from harvest to sale. I thought the tea would take longer to be ready to be bought & that the business would be more complicated than what you observed. Thanks for the information, kyarzen.

I am waiting for samples of tea grown near Sun Moon Lake which is being harvested now. I was told the samples would not be sent until the end of the month. Seems like what I'll get is what's left after preferred customers have had their pick. No worries, I think it will still be great.

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May 18th 16 9:56 pm
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Re: Dong ding recommendation?

by bagua7 » May 18th 16 9:56 pm

Balthazar wrote:I earlier this year I bought a bag of Teahome's "Legend of Tung Ting"
I am no DD expert but I also purchased some of this (recommended by Origin Tea) and I found it very good; the problem is that I don't particularly like this tea as much as do with higher elevation oolongs.

Can't compare to other vendors but I trust the initial recommendation, sorry.