The next day, I asked the farmer about a tea of his that I tasted two years ago. He said they only make a little bit each year and their version of that tea is very good this year. He said they decided not to roast this tea as much in order to keep the "original flavor" of the tea. I asked to taste it. The tea base is very good and smooth with that particular Dong Ding fruity note. His wife came out and I told her what I thought. She smiled. I told her I would prefer it to be roasted a bit more. She said she would take care of that while Mr. Song took us out for a ride.
I enjoyed our tour. We rolled down the window and it felt so good to have the wind on my face. The air was fresh and mixed with some osmanthus scent. I simply love to see all the mountains lined up from the distance. Farmer Song likes to listen to songs that are from the 50's to 70's. He likes to sing with them and Konghai would hum with the music as well, which made the farmer very happy. I thought that was so cute! I love those moments. No lectures and everyone has a great time.
Mr. Song asked me what kind of teas I am going to buy from this trip. After he learned the types of teas that I wanted to buy, he told me he wanted me to experience "real high mountain tea." We stopped at various farmers' places and tasted mostly ShanLinXi and some other tea regions that I've never heard of before. It takes only about an hour to get up to ShanLinXi. Some farmers own farms at Lishan and HeHuan Shan, but they said they were just about to harvest tea at those regions. All the people we met were really kind and friendly. So far, the high mountain teas I tasted are softer and have more flavor than last winter's.
We went back to have lunch and then tasted the tea from the roaster. Mrs Song and I tasted the tea and I told her something was missing. She agreed and told me that the tea would be ready in about two hours. I am amazed by how she knows things like this. The previous day, she was roasting a tea and she let me smell her hand after she touched the tea. I smiled and told her it smelled very good. She said she knows the tea is ready by the smell on her hand after she touches the leaves. After a couple of hours, we tried the tea again and it was much better. She told me it was ready. She said it might taste not as wholesome yet because the tea was just taken out of the roaster. She knew excatly what I was thinking! She said the tea would taste even better in about two to three days.
I have been drinking this Dong Ding for two days after returning to Taipei. This tea has turned to be so soft and yet so full. I have been extremely happy with this tea. This is one of the teas that make me smile when I drink it.
I also got a very limited quantity of an aged Dong Ding. Farmer said he doesn't remember how old the tea is. I said I don't really care as long as it is a good tea.