Dong Ding Bärbucha Kombucha
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Yet, another excellent Oolong, as our special. Delicious Dong Ding from Taiwan.
We have used two different varieties of Dong Ding, to make our Kombucha special.
But first, let's look at the definition of this Oolong, as written in Teapedia:
"Dong Ding, spelled as "Tung Ting", is an Oolong tea from Taiwan originally grown in Dong Ding Mountain. Nowadays, the tea is also produced in other locations in Taiwan and even in other countries like Thailand. The original cultivar, Qing Xin, was taken from a much older tea plant in China's Wuyi Mountains in Fujian Province. The name "Dong Ding" means "Frozen Summit", which is the name of the mountain in Taiwan on which the original tea plants taken from the Wuyi Mountains were planted.
The original Dong Ding is from Luku region in Nantou province in Taiwan. However, this area has long been used for tea cultivation. Production is now scarce and quality varies. Many Dong Ding nowadays are produced from other Nantou high mountain tea and follow the traditional Dong Ding production method. Dong Ding is typically medium roasted (about 30%).
Dong Ding is still primarily hand-picked and is either charcoal or machine roasted. For many oolong lovers, Dong Ding is considered the premium Taiwanese Oolong tea."
The two varieties that we used are Zheng Dong Ding, which is considered to be the real Dong Ding (pictured above). That one was the Spring 2016 harvest.
The second one, was a less expensive version called Mingjian Nostalgia, also from the same year. Even though Nostalgia is usually a light roast, it is not the case when compared to Zheng pictured above.
We purchased both of those teas in 2016, so they aged a bit till we started using them.
The end result was delicious, in both cases.
Here's a bit more about those teas, this time from Teamania.ch:
"Qingxin means green heart. It is the cultivar with the longest history of cultivation in Taiwan, the most popular among tea farmers and tea drinkers alike, and by far the most widely cultivated. When people talk about Wulong in Taiwan, they usually refer to it as “Qingxin-Wulong”. It is the cultivar from which the traditional, genuine Dongding is made. Today, however, all Wulong teas that are processed into Dongding style are called Dongding Wulong. Especially the teas from Mingjian are much cheaper in their production than the real Dongding teas. Nevertheless they are mostly sold as Dongding. Therefore, if there is no explicit mention of a real Dongding or if there is no mention of a place, it is usually only tea produced in the Dongding way. The name Dongding is not geographically protected in Taiwan.
This real Dongding comes from an old feral tea garden in the Dongding Mountains. It is a particularly well produced Dongding from the winter harvest. It has a relatively high degree of oxidation, which can be easily seen from the orange infusion colour in the cup and the quite pronounced red edges of the green leaf. The flavour clearly reflects the delicate and sweet character of teas from the winter harvest. It is very unobtrusive and yet present at the same time. The body is weak, but especially when you feel the reverberation in the mouth, it becomes more and more present and between the delicate sweetness, the floral notes of the tea become more and more evident.
The tea is lightly roasted but even for Dongding teas it is relatively strongly oxidized. The character of the variety and the growing area are rather difficult to grasp, because you rarely get traditionally processed teas from Dongding’s winter harvest. Due to the traditional processing it can be stored without any problems and without losing its aroma. With increasing age, the aroma changes and develops its very own charm.
In principle, this winter tea does not develop bitterness and is therefore very digestible."
Nostalgia, is a lighter version of Dong Ding, and its taste is lighter and fresher, when compared to traditionally dark-roasted Dong Dings.
Both of those Oolongs made a delicious Kombucha. Nostalgia, due to the darker roast, was more complex in flavor. They both had pronounced floral and fruity notes, and they are definitely great for Kombucha brewing.
Below, are some pics from the steeping process.
And some bottling photos, plus the finished product.
And from Zheng Dong Ding.
Zheng Dong Ding is currently available (May 2022), but it is not on our special list.
So, in order to get it, you have to ask for it.
If you don't, we will have to drink it all.
Both teas were sourced through Hamburger Teespeicher out of Hamburg.
Ingredients: Filtered & Revitalized Water, Live Kombucha Cultures, Unrefined Brown Sugar
and Dong Ding Oolong