zondag 28 oktober 2012

Deep fermented Dong Ding from HOJO

Last friday when I came home, my mother told me there was a package from Japan on the kitchen table. Quickly I ran towards the kitchen and I ripped open the package with great eager. I felt like a little child getting his toys for Saint Nicolas. In the package there were 2 teas - a deep fired Da Yu Ling and a deep fermented Dong Ding. That night I went for the Dong Ding and I was just astonished by its unique flavor profile so today I'm going to review this tea and it pleased me yet again. When it was dry it smelled sweet and fruity. Once preheated some lovely honey pops aroma's came out of my gaiwan - dear God I love this smell! In the beginning this tea is so full bodied because of the deep fermentation (but no roasting!!!) and full of dark fruity flavours. Think about raisins, figs and plums with a dark sugary sweetness. Surprisingly after this full-bodied, sweet fruity notes there is this amazing fruity/flowery aftertaste that just won't disappear.
After about 4 brews the tea becomes less sweet and full bodied. In the mouth it's not as pleasant as before though much more complex with an almost overwhelming aftertaste. It's like you are drinking flower parfum, I thought some other teas I've tried before were perfumy but this is just over-the-top perfume. There is so much flower in the aftertaste it's almost unbearable, it's on this very steep edge between perfect/overwhelming. Very delicate and brewed a little bit too long it's almost undrinkable but if done so correctly it gives a heavenly brew that refuses to keep lingering on in your throat. For my mother -she is my test subject- it was too overwhelming and too complex to enjoy. In even later brews the taste becomes a little bit more sweeter again - almost like white chocolate- with some nuttiness. This tea would be a perfect match with a Yamazaki 12 year old whisky on an Autumn evening, need to put it to the task. Perhaps I should invite some friends and have a tea&whisky night.The characteristics in this brew keep changing but I think the red line in this tea is it deep flavour and lingering aftertaste. I might buy some more of this tea for aging because i'm sure this one will develop into something even more incredible. As my subject of study is biotechnology(soon biology or biophysics) this aging procces is interesting for me - you should have a look at my beer cellar. Talking about beer, please also take a look at my beer blog (link can be found at the top of the page). It's not as active as this blog but I'll do a regular 1-2 week update, thank you very much!

In the bottom of my gaiwan small leafs were mainly found and at the top some bigger and stugger leafs. You can see their deep green colour. The leafs are spear shaped so I guess they are from the qingxing variety (originaly from the Dong Ding area? Correct me if I'm wrong please)
To conclude this tea: With no doubt one of the best - if not the best- oolong I had so far. It has such an unique flavor profile which I really dig. I do like  gao shan oolongs but my preference still goes to deep fermented/roasted oolongs, perhaps it may be due the fact it's getting winter and my body longes for darker and deeper flavours.

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