14 July 2011

10 Bucks for 15 Years of Aged tea

Ten bucks an ounce, fifteen years old, real Dong Ding tea…and you can buy it right here in the US.

Shiuwen at Floating Leaves brought back a limited supply of aged Dong Ding from her recent tea-buying tour.  I tried it when it came in over a month ago, but I haven’t (and still haven’t) experimented too much with it or taken the time to understand the tea. 

It is aged and its musty/fruit tartness/mellowness is developing.  The tea base is stronger than many other aged teas at this price and beyond.  As nice as it is to drink now, it will very likely taste quite a bit better if it’s stored in stoneware for a few more years to pull out the lingering extraneous flavors, harshness and fire.  I’ve got some stored in porcelain, tin and clay to see how it turns out over the next few months.  Clay tends to pull too much life out of oolongs, so I’ll have to transfer it to a less porous material for aging.  For $10, it’s worth buying to keep around for a while; there is no more quantity of this product for her to purchase.  Her $7.50 aged Muzha TGY is still a great value, she’s almost sold out of it with only a limited supply left in Taiwan for her to bring in.

I’ve bought about 15 different aged oolongs over the past 4 months and most of them were substandard (most were reasonably priced, some were spendy).  I dipped into Taobao and received my first aged teas “straight from the producer,” but it was a huge let-down.  I sent some over to Gingko at Life in Teacup to try (she is a Taobao tea-buying expert) and  she was kind to not make me feel embarrassed by my first foray into the massive Taobao emporium of stuff.  I’ve got to admit that it was exciting to read about the products and await their arrival….

Oh Taiwan, when oh when will I return?  It’s been so long that I’m even missing the scent of the stinkiest stinky tofu (which, when fried, actually tastes pretty dang good).

Drink good tea and enrich your life.

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