King of Competition Grade Dong Ding Oolong Tea - Spring 2016Taiwan Sourcing
The history of Dong Ding Competition Tea began in 1976, when the oolong tea legend Zhen-Duo Wu was still at his peak. Under his supervision, the Dong Ding Competition held by Lugu Farmers' Association was able to have a solid foundation and reputation. One of the best stories people know about Zhen-Duo Wu and this Competition, was that Mr. Wu was able to distinguish two totally identical teas from the crowd and insisted on naming them the 1st place. It turned out the teas were sent to competition by a pair of brothers using a different name to submit the same tea, to see whether this competition was legitimate or not. After this incident, the foundation of this competition held by the Farmers' Association turned rock solid, and the legacy still continues today.
The competition today is one of the most popular and well-known tea competitions in Taiwan. Each competition attracts more than 6000 competitors from around the whole island. From here you may ask: What do you mean by "around the whole island"? Is this not a "Dong Ding" specific competition? Well, unfortunately (or actually fortunately for the consumer), the local Dong Ding farmers do not have enough quantity to make up all of the 6000 participants. As a result, we could reasonably reduce that a lot of them are not from local Dong Ding, but from the other part of Taiwan, and most of them have even higher elevation than Dong Ding itself. Moreover, a lot of Taiwanese tea from China and Vietnam will try to make their way into the competition for a chance at gaining notoriety and prizes!
Taiwan Sourcing fortunately obtained this precious tea from our very close friend, and that is also why this tea is quite reasonably priced compared to the same grade competition tea on the market. It is also extremely limited due to the limited production quantity.
When you've drank this tea you'll understand why we call it "King"!
Harvest: Spring 2016 / 春 貳零壹陸
Varietal: Qing Xin Oolong / 青心烏龍
Elevation: 700 M / 柒佰 公尺
Region: Lugu / 鹿谷
Oxidation Level: 30 % / 分之 卅
Roast Level: 3 / 參 分
Wow... incredible aroma will fill the room when you brew this tea. It's like smelling spiced cider simmering. Medium roast level but no charcoal/roast taste. It tastes aged already. This is due to the incredible skill of the team who processed this tea. Cinnamon, dried longan fruit and just a high osmanthus can all be found in this lovely complex tea.
The dry leaf aroma is strongly roasted and nutty with some buttery quality. The wet leaf aroma has a more vibrant roasted power to it. Initially the tea is lighter than I expected but still has great Dong Ding flavor. This tea was quite exquisite as the cool morning breeze off the hills next to me. I can tell as the coolness sets in I know this tea will be more and more perfect.
As an old dog that has a special memory with Dong Ding Oolong, this is a tea that makes the memory refreshed again. This tea has everything a good Dong Ding should carry - a distinctive aroma thanks to the roast but delicate overall character, but its competition grade craftsmanship elevates this tea to a "sacred" level. This is a tea that an old dog was fortunate enough to grab before anyone else, and that makes an old dog a proud dog!