I had not previously had the opportunity to taste any aged oolongs so I was very curious to try auraTeas‘ Formosa Aged Dongding, 2004. I prepared it in the traditional gongfu method, using a yixing pot and serving pitcher. The pre-brewed scent of this tea is wonderful, rich, sweet and complex and it has a nice dark reddish hue.
The tea liquor of the first infusion was darkly flavored and a little like honey and mulch, not at all like the darkness of a pu-ehr. By the second infusion the flavor was more reminiscent of fresh cut oak leaves. It grew in intensity with the first three infusions and then began to drop off slightly in the final two steepings.
One thing that I found interesting about the leaf as it changed over the course of multiple steepings was that unlike most leaves it never fully flattened out. The aging process imposes more compression and wrinkling of the leaf. The leaf does expand in the pot, fully imparting its favor into the liquor, but even after five infusions it remained more wrinkled than most teas.
Having not experienced a wide variety of aged oolongs I can’t assume that the character of this Dongding would be similar to others, but it seems that a certain timbre of the tea would be consistent. I enjoyed this one quite a bit and would recommend it to anyone interested in a good entry-level aged oolong.