Origin: Dong Ding, Nantou, Taiwan
Year: Spring 2007
Vendor: Aura Teas (Product page)
Price: $12.50 (72g) / $4.50 (18g)
Aura Teas recently contacted me about trying some of their teas and writing about them, and as usual I was quite willing to do so. :) I have only had time to sit down and seriously taste one out of the four samples they sent, but so far I'm pretty impressed.
This is a traditional-style Dong Ding which, from what I understand (please correct me if I'm wrong) [Edit: No big surprise– I was. Traditional-style is both high roasted AND high oxidized. Thanks Stéphane!], typically means the tea is less roasted and more oxidized than its newer brethren. The wet leaves showed some evidence of this (slightly browner, correlating with more oxidation; more supple/less rigid suggesting less roasting).
The tea wasn't what I expected, which was a good thing in this case. The low-medium roast Taiwanese oolong I have had in the past has been just like low-medium Tie Guan Yin but with less body, but this was different.
I brewed it in my typical balled-oolong way, with about 5g of leaf in a 100mL gaiwan and off-boiling water for around 30s (give or take) each infusion. The result was grainy (in flavor, not texture), notably fruity, and sweet. There was good thickness and oiliness on the tongue, it was cooling in the throat, and had a long, sweet aftertaste. All in all, quite delicious! The only problem was that it only lasted for 3 infusions before it started to weaken, but this is forgivable.
One more brief and probably unimportant note: look how cool their packaging is! Probably the nicest I've seen anywhere, heh.
I look forward to tasting the other offerings Aura Teas sent me, especially if they're all this good. Of special note is their "Natural Wuhe Honey Black Tea," which should be interesting as I've never had Taiwanese black tea before.
[Speaking of cool packaging, anyone like the new look of Tea Nerd?]