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Charcoal Baked Dong Ding Oolong [Baked Jin Xuan]

Charcoal Baked Dong Ding Oolong [Baked Jin Xuan]


Simply put...

A smooth, full bodied tea with a toasty woody flavour.  

This tea is produced from the Jin Xuan T-12 cultivar and charcoal baked following the procedure below.  This gives a unique profile.

In more depth..

Tea Name : Dong Ding [CHARCOAL Baked Jin Xuan]

Tea farmer : Tsai Brother

CHARCOAL Baked by : Yu Wen [a 4 step process outlined below]

1/ A charcoal fire is lit in a pit - you must wait until there are no flames, just embers.
2/ Tea is is laid over the embers at the top of a chimney-like cylinder and covered.
3/ Tea is left to rest atop the embers for many hours. The amount of time is dependent on the level of charcoal firing desired and the desired profile of the final tea.
4/ Taiwanese charcoal-firing differs from other countries through the use of different types of woods. favoured woods are those endemic to the island.

Origin : Nantou County Taiwan

Size : 1 hectare total, split into 3 cultivars 

Harvest Time : September

A note on harvest time for Dong Ding style teas : Many Dong Ding makers store the tea to let it mellow before baking including our partners which is why this harvest date is not 'Spring' - the 'Spring tea' from 2020 will be baked in early Autumn.

Cultivar : 
Jin Xuan TRES No 12

Interested to learn more about Taiwanese tea style, cultivar & terroir? click here to read our blog on the topic

Plucking standard : Four or Five Leaves

Processing : Medium oxidised, three-step multi-stage oven baking [modern oven]

Experience : Nutty, strong and deliciously woody

Last visited by Comins : Summer 2017, Rob Comins

How to prepare tea [Gong Fu Style]

Amount of tea per cup (200 ml): 5g (1/3 of a pot)

Temperature of water: 90℃ 

Infusion time: 45 seconds and then 20 seconds as desired

Number of infusions: 5+

How to enjoy: No milk, no sugar

How to prepare tea [Western Style]

Amount of tea per cup (200 ml): 5g (one tea caddy spoon)

Temperature of water: 90℃ / 195℉ (boil kettle, cool for 20 seconds)

Infusion time: 2 minutes (or as desired). Add 1 minute for each further infusion.

Number of infusions: 3 to 4

How to enjoy: No milk, no sugar

Tales of the Tea Trade : Dong Ding

A few interesting facts : Dong Ding, or Tung Ting, Oolong is one of Taiwan's most famous teas. This tea is from the Jinxuan T-12 cultivar.  The name means “frozen peak” and refers to Tung Ting mountain, a tea producing area in Nantou, Taiwan whose name has become eponymous with its style of tea manufacturing. Tea was first planted here at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Initially just twelve tea plants were imported from Fujian, China.

Altitude impacts flavour : The altitude of the tea garden and the surrounding mountains mean that the teas are grown enshrouded in mist and receive minimal sunshine. At night, temperatures can drop below freezing. It is these factors that contribute to the tea's natural sweetness and richness of flavour and aroma.

Oxidation impacts flavour : Dong Ding teas have a longer oxidisation period and are also slowly baked at a high temperatures, with careful attention to how the flavours and aromas are changing throughout the baking process.  

The result is caramelised sweetness with a depth and complexity that literally makes your mouth water—it’s a phenomenon the Chinese call “Hui Gan.”

Rob : Extract from our our book Tales of the tea trade :  

Rob "Yuwen and her family, who live in Mingjian, western Nantou County. This area has the highest concentration of tea producers in Taiwan. Despite this, one third of the crops grown are not tea; pineapple, dragon fruit, ginger, bananas and a large variety of local vegetables create a diversity made possible by the small plot system. This is not only necessary for the survival of many farmers, but is also helpful in pest control, as natural barriers are created to stop the spread of disease"

Yuwen: ‘I first started in tea when I went to my father’s tea factory in China at the age of 21 or 22. When I arrived I knew very little about tea, but he needed extra tea bakers, so I was put in charge of baking. I worked there for four years, living and working at the factory. As the boss’s daughter I could not admit that I didn’t know anything – I just had to learn from the workers, what they asked and their comments. My father encouraged me, telling me that making tea is a job that you enjoy, sitting down with your customers and serving them [....]  The hardest part of producing tea is that once you are baking, there can be no break until it is finished. This is why I bake in the evening, so there can be no interruption from my two boys! 


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