For some reason, Steepster deleted the review I was writing, so this is just a recap.
Though I was underwhelmed by the two previous jade Dong Dings I’ve had from other vendors, the fact that this one was bug bitten and inexpensive persuaded me to buy it. I steeped 6 g of leaf in a 120 ml teapot at 190F for 30 and 25 seconds, then at 195F for 30, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.
The first two cooler steeps were lackluster, with a strong vegetal presence. There was some Dong Ding creaminess and sweetness, but not much fruit or bug-bitten character.
However, increasing the temperature to 195F made all the difference. In the third steep, I got blackberry, citrus, peach, and nectarine, along with florals, honey, and a vegetal note that was still stronger than I’d like. The mouthfeel was heavy and buttery, though there wasn’t much of an aftertaste. By steep five, the fruit started backing down and the tea began to develop a Taiwanese jade oolong profile, which I can only describe as buttery, mineral, and floral, though the fruit and honey never entirely went away. This tea was strong until about the sixth steep, and only faded gradually after that.
With the addition of only five degrees, this oolong went from something I regretted buying to something I truly enjoyed. I was even more impressed by this dramatic improvement than by the complexity of this tea!
Flavors: Blackberry, Bok Choy, Butter, Citrus, Creamy, Dried Fruit, Floral, Honey, Lettuce, Mineral, Peach, Stonefruit, Vegetal