On Dongding and highest quality tea

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


Aug 21st, '16, 23:40
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by Bok » Aug 21st, '16, 23:40

You’re welcome.

Another thing about Taiwanese potters is that, if, they are very active on facebook (heaviest fb usage worldwide in TW), downside not many speak or write English, or do not dare to.

As mentioned above, the best ones usually cater to the rich mainland Chinese (taobao etc.) which makes their stuff prohibitively expensive and hard to get as they simply do not need to sell to other nationalities. The guy I mentioned previously is one of those cases I suspect.

In that context, a lot of “tea masters” are making a fortune by going to China and teaching the rich and bored.

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Aug 22nd, '16, 01:46
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by debunix » Aug 22nd, '16, 01:46

I've been following a Taiwanese potter on Flickr for a few years now, and an inquiry about purchasing any wares was met with polite indifference.

It does make sense to me, that if you're already selling everything you make, selling one or two pieces at a time to someone internationally via the web is not worth your time.

Aug 22nd, '16, 02:58
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by Bok » Aug 22nd, '16, 02:58

debunix wrote:I've been following a Taiwanese potter on Flickr for a few years now, and an inquiry about purchasing any wares was met with polite indifference.

It does make sense to me, that if you're already selling everything you make, selling one or two pieces at a time to someone internationally via the web is not worth your time.
Not surprising, but in this case I suspect it is rather that the potter might find it annoying to deal with international orders. Sales work very easy and convenient in Taiwan over LINE-App or even facebook. There is one personality trait one encounters in some people in Taiwan –can’t be bothered– “太麻煩” :mrgreen:

That said, I would rank this guys work on the lower quality end… both in terms of shape and control over the fire. Looks more like non-professional student/hobbyists work.

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Aug 22nd, '16, 03:00
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by kuánglóng » Aug 22nd, '16, 03:00

Bok wrote:
xabi wrote: All my "tea masters" on the island Taiwan claim exactly the same.
The tea masters are a whole different kind of topic… they tend to be pretty dogmatic and each school rigidley follow theirs.
That’s why I tend to stay away from the so called “茶人”, personnally prefer the local southern style of just sitting together and having nice tea, instead of worrying in which order the cups are served or which direction the teapot is pointing… :lol:

Those 茶人 Charen are the equivalent of a Chinese martial arts teacher in silk pyjamas – if I see one, I just say thank you and walk away. :mrgreen:
+1
Anyone with the need to perceive himself or being seen and adressed as 'master' would be good advised to take a closer look at his/her emotional deficiencies.
I'll always remember the wonderful sessions with like minds and souls back in India, Nepal, southwestern China and wherever else I used to live or my tea trips have taken me. Open, spontaneous, unpretentious, no fake humility, facades or status BS; with simple, often battered teaware, sharing all sorts of leaves and the experience of those moments - that's more my thing and I'm looking forward to keeping it that way.

Aug 22nd, '16, 03:35
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by xiaobai » Aug 22nd, '16, 03:35

Bok wrote:You’re welcome.

In that context, a lot of “tea masters” are making a fortune by going to China and teaching the rich and bored.
This reminds me of the story of 李曙韻, the Singaporean "tea master", who eventually moved to Taiwan to learn the secrets the tea trade, first set shop in Tainan and later in Taipei (I guess to cater the wealthier 外省人 and their descendants), and, eventually, following the "flow", she relocated herself to Beijing, where she is now spreading her own trademark of tea-art amongst the "rich and bored..." of China.

These days she is pretty much into mid tier Japanese potters, whose work she sells for a fortune at her store(s) and into organic tea, which often tastes of diluted boiled water (some people call it the 無茶 feeling 8)

All for the love of tea...

Aug 22nd, '16, 06:34
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by Haddemall » Aug 22nd, '16, 06:34

[/quote]Not surprising, but in this case I suspect it is rather that the potter might find it annoying to deal with international orders. Sales work very easy and convenient in Taiwan over LINE-App or even facebook. There is one personality trait one encounters in some people in Taiwan –can’t be bothered– “太麻煩” :mrgreen: [/quote]

Sadly, thats an attitude I have met all over Asia, with a few exceptions. Coming from an export oriented country, that is an attitude I will never understand.

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Sep 8th, '16, 10:28
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by gasninja » Sep 8th, '16, 10:28

Houde just made available some premium awarded dong ding from this years LuGu competition.


http://www.houdeasianart.com/index.php? ... a9e08cb76f

Sep 9th, '16, 03:24
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by ethan » Sep 9th, '16, 03:24

Drank some 4-year old Thai Dong Ding w/ Vee & Palita at Tea-Village in Pattaya, yesterday. Gentle roasted flavor dominated but tart fruit was there, especially in latter infusions of which there were many. T-V was not able to keep obtaining that tea over the years.

A few days before that had another wonderful oolong which they only could get in a quanity big enough for their personal use.
Their Bai Hao (Oriental Beauty) so sweet when I prepared it in a gaiwan using Minere brand water. I think this is not Spring Water but ordinary w/ minerals added. Just shy of being exceedingly sweet. I am not used to paying 23USA cents per gram but fortunately can still enjoy the tea since it yields 4 good infusions from a modest amount of leaf.

Sep 9th, '16, 17:51
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by benm3 » Sep 9th, '16, 17:51

jayinhk wrote:
kyarazen wrote:
Bok wrote: Not a surprise, but a disappointment...
According to Stéphane it seems to have been excellent.
But he said what we have also concluded, better price value can be had easily.

Also the winner of a competition is the best of the participants, not necessarily the best that is around ;)

One of my trusted tea vendor said he doesn't bother anymore to attend those events, not worth the effort.
:P the winner this year used electrical roasting. but using those means he could get a clear ginger flower note that gave him the winning edge..

btw.. its with great fortune that eastern tea came by singapore and they are now at takashimaya basement (ngee ann city) till 28th August.
the owner is a renowned tea judge and his dongding oolong has won the champion several times. had a brief chat with him and bought his championship tea. the aromatics and the delicate refineness of his dongding is from the use of leaves from other regions.. up to over 2000m altitude.. into dongding oolong processing.

not terribly expensive (150g for 188 singapore dollars) which probably gives an average of about $1 usd per gram.
Interesting, so his dongding is really a mix of high mountain leaves from across Taiwan?

I also found it interesting than an electric roast won the competition. My guess is electric roasting allows for much more precise temperature control and less variation in temperature across the roast than with charcoal, where you have much less control as the temperature would inevitably go through peaks and troughs.

As for not entering the competition...why wouldn't a producer enter, when it guarantees a top shelf price for your tea?

Post from MarshalN: he refers to dongding 'style' as higher oxidation and roast than standard green gaoshan.

http://www.teachat.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 11#p289311
I think that charcoal roasted DongDing needs a rest after the roast before it really blooms into something nice. I think this is slightly less true with electric roasted teas- unless the roast is quite high. Also, good charcoal roasting is a complex art/craft- I think there aren't too many people who can do it well. I'm guessing that's a big part of why so many teas submitted to the Lu Gu competition are electric roasted. Literally there is not enough time to submit a well charcoal-roasted Dong Ding from Spring 2015 to the Spring 2015 competition.

Sep 9th, '16, 21:44
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by Bok » Sep 9th, '16, 21:44

benm3 wrote: I think that charcoal roasted DongDing needs a rest after the roast before it really blooms into something nice. I think this is slightly less true with electric roasted teas- unless the roast is quite high. Also, good charcoal roasting is a complex art/craft- I think there aren't too many people who can do it well. I'm guessing that's a big part of why so many teas submitted to the Lu Gu competition are electric roasted. Literally there is not enough time to submit a well charcoal-roasted Dong Ding from Spring 2015 to the Spring 2015 competition.
Might be an explanation! It takes also more time = money, which is why many farmers probably can’t be bothered. Many are just being pragmatic, it is a hard living to be a tea farmer… and the returns are not necessarily high, which is why so many farms are being abandoned or converted to betelnut plantations where the return can be much quicker and higher.

However all Taiwanese teas (can’t speak of other varieties) need some rest after their respective final processing, even the greener ones.
In Taiwan people will say a tea has too much fire, when it is consumed too early and/or is not made properly. The average Western consumer will rarely notice as by the time it reaches them, the tea is ready.

Sep 9th, '16, 21:46
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Re: On Dongding and highest quality tea

by Bok » Sep 9th, '16, 21:46

Another reason for not participating (as heard from a tea master himself), is reputation. Say you have a good one, but your tea does not win a price – then people will know and reputation suffers.

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