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Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha

HR-DDO-LBJ-all_grandeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong Tea

Where to Buy: Eco-Cha

Tea Description:

This batch of tea comes from Yong Long Village, just above Dong Ding Mountain. Yong Long is known for a rich red soil which differs from other locales in Lu Gu Township. The unique flavor of the Dong Ding Oolong produced here is attributed to this soil quality, along with the fact this region is home to the most concentrated population of the most skilled oolong tea artisans in Taiwan.


Flavor: Grilled sweet corn aroma. Rich, foresty, roasted flavor. Complex, fruity finish.

Garden: This batch of tea comes from Yonglong Village, just above Dong Ding Mountain. Yonglong is known for its rich soil which differs from other locales in Lu Gu Township. The unique flavor of the Dong Ding Oolong produced here is attributed to this soil quality, along with the fact this region is home to the most concentrated population of skilled oolong tea artisans in Taiwan. This farm is managed by a father and son team who inherited their family tradition as artisans of Dong Ding Oolong. Their tea has been awarded first prize in the world’s largest Oolong tea competition, and they consistently achieve top awards in their local competition of traditionally made Dong Ding Oolong.

Harvest: Hand picked in small batches. November 2015. Yonglong, Nantou. Available Winter 2016

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha I know and LOVE is from 2013 but today I found out they have a 2015 harvest that will be available in Winter of 2016.  I’m looking forward to comparing the two.  The review of this Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha is from the 2013 harvest eventho I inserted both harvest descriptions above.

Once I infused Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha and it was ready to go in my cup I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful golden amber tone…it was beautiful!  The aroma was roasted – that is for sure.  The roasted notes followed suit when you sipped it as well.  I could taste some plum notes underneath in the middle of the sip, too, but they were very subtle.

The roasty and toasty aftertaste lingered but in a good way.  I’m looking forward to the new harvest of Dong Ding Oolong Tea from Eco-Cha coming in winter 2016…in the meantime I will finish what I have…and what I have is very good!  Two thumbs up!


Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling Black Tea Autumn Flush from Golden Tips

Gopaldhara GoldTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black (Darjeeling)

Where to Buy:  Golden Tips

Tea Description:

Among the most sought after invoice’s from the years pre-winter harvest, the Gopaldhara Gold is an autumnal beauty. A delicate yet rounded black tea with intricate flowery notes. The tea brings about a subtle and sweet profile with hints of fine muscatel and an slightly earthy roundness. The lingering aftertaste brings in sensations of dark bold chocolate and cocoa. A fantastic leaf tea texture with golden tips spread evenly, this is definitely among our better autumn Darjeeling’s.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Nice!  This is Gopaldhara Gold Darjeeling Black Tea Autumn Flush from Golden Tips is a beauty!  It’s not your typical Darjeeling – and that’s a very good thing!

This has a richness to it that I don’t often find in a Darjeeling tea.  It’s very satisfying and well-rounded.  It is almost robust!  Almost.  It has a very rich, pleasing flavor that I might find in a stronger tea.  It’s not quite as ‘light’ or crisp as a typical Darjeeling, but it does have that familiar mustcatel that I look for in an autumn harvest Darjeeling.  It’s like the best of both worlds in one teacup!

While it’s not quite as thick or strong as I would want for a morning cuppa, it does have a strong enough flavor that I’d enjoy it as a later morning or early afternoon cup.  It’d make a really good pick-me-up when you’re looking for that boost mid-day.

It’s wonderfully smooth with very little astringency.  I notice just a hint of dryness as the sip progresses into the aftertaste, but it’s very slight.  There’s no bitterness to this cup.  It’s sweet with notes of fruit and a wine-like quality without the astringency of the wine.  And as suggested in the above description, I’m even picking up on a chocolate-y note.  (I’m thinking that this tea would be a fabulous accompaniment to a chocolate bar.  Then again, who needs an excuse for either good tea or chocolate?)

I’ve tasted quite a few teas from Golden Tips now, and I think that this one might be my favorite thus far.  It’s just so spectacular.

Keemun Classic 2014 Harvest Black Tea from Capital Tea Limited

KeemunClassicTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Capital Tea Limited

Tea Description:

Small, even and slender wiry black leaves with a forward classic keemun aroma. This tea produces a strong, rich tasting and full bodied tea liquor with a sweet and subtly smoky aroma and with prominent cocoa flavour notes. Highly recommended!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I looked forward to trying this Keemun because I’ve enjoyed the other teas that I’ve tried from Capital Tea Limited thus far.  Unfortunately, this Classic Keemun leaves me wanting.

There is a strong leathery note that is prominent and up front.  As I mentioned on Steepster about this tea, it is almost as though the leather notes want to pull all the focus on them to disguise the fact that this is not a very round tasting tea.  It doesn’t have that well-rounded, pleasing flavor that I have come to expect from a top-notch Keemun tea.

I’m not getting a strong cocoa flavor as promised in the above description.   Beyond the leathery notes, I do get some notes of chocolate and also a smoky presence.  But I wouldn’t call this a “rich tasting” or even a “full-bodied” tea.  It’s kind of thin in the flavor department, lacking that round, satisfying taste that I want from a Keemun.

Not my favorite Keemun.

To brew:  I placed a bamboo scoop of the leaf in the basket of my Kati Tumbler and added 12 ounces of boiling water and steeped for 3 minutes.

Golden Monkey Superfine Grade – 2014 Harvest from Capital Tea Limited

GoldenMonkeyTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Capital Tea Limited

Tea Description:

Young, fine and tender prominently golden tea leaves with an intensely forward aroma. These leaves produce a rich, medium bodied tea liquor with a very smooth and sweet flavour that is full of finesse. This tea has a wonderful depth of flavour and is highly recommended.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Really nice!  This Golden Monkey has a rich, full-flavor that I want in my first cup of the day, the kind of tea that will help you get a move on!

I received a sampling of this tea from a friendly sipper on Steepster, which is an excellent community of tea drinkers.  I like to call Steepster “Facebook for tea drinkers.”  Anyway, I’m so grateful to the community because it allows me the opportunity to try some teas that maybe I wouldn’t have been able to try otherwise.

Like this Golden Monkey, for example!  To brew this tea, I poured the sampling I received in the basket of my Kati Tumbler and heated 12 ounces of tea to boiling and let the tea steep for 3 minutes.

The aroma is sweet and chocolaty with notes of smoke, earth and leather.  These notes translate to the flavor as well, because that’s exactly what I’m tasting!  Notes of earth and leather, with background notes of smoke.  There is an overtone of chocolate with a sweet undertone of caramel.  Luscious!

It’s a remarkably smooth tea – I’m getting virtually no astringency.  In the aftertaste, I experience a very slight dryness, but it is so slight that if I wasn’t focusing on it, I don’t know that I would have noticed it.  It’s not bitter.  It’s just pleasant deliciousness from start to finish.

Another great tea from this company!

Apple Harvest Iced Black Tea from Southern Boy Teas

SBT-Apple-HarvestTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Zoomdweebies

Tea Description:

If this doesn’t put you in the mood for fall, I can’t help you. This awesome iced tea is a blend of organic southern Indian black teas and organic red delicious and granny smith apple flavors. It’s a bit sweet, a bit tart and all refreshing.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn about SBT’s subscriptions here.

Taster’s Review:

I’ve been drinking this periodically throughout the day, and when I was pouring past the half-way point of the pitcher of tea, I realized that I better sit down and write about it before I have an empty pitcher of tea and no tea left to write about!

That is to say, it’s tasty.  I like that it’s sweet but not cloying.  When I focus on what I taste, I can recognize the apple notes.  When I’m casually sipping, I don’t immediately notice that “hey, I’m drinking an apple tea.”  I just notice that “hey, this tastes really good.”  But then when I reach the bottom of the glass of tea, my last gulp is very obviously apple.

The apple notes and the black tea notes work together extremely well.  The black tea tastes smoother.  It’s a medium-bodied black tea base that’s very pleasant to drink.  It has a certain “invigorating” quality to it without being even the slightest bit aggressive, bitter or astringent.  It is smooth and silky and very refreshing.

The apple tastes sweet and there’s just enough tartness to the apple to add a balancing contrast to the flavor.  It’s not an overly flavored tea – this is a tea first and an apple-y tasting tea second.

I have to admit that when this tea was announced on the week of October 13, I wasn’t all that excited about it.  I mean, it sounded good and if I wasn’t already a subscriber, I probably would have ordered the tea to try it.  But, was I dancing the happy dance over the idea of Apple Harvest Iced Tea?  No, no I wasn’t.  But now, I’m dancing that happy dance.  Because this tea is really good!  I ended up liking this much more than I thought I would.  Yum!