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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Charcoal Roast Dong Ding

I have been out of the Charcoal Roasted Dong Ding for a while. I talked to master Zhen who roasts Dong Ding for us and was happy to hear that he had some for me. He told me that it's a lighter roast than what I usually order, but he is very happy with this version. I asked him if it's possible to get some with a heavier roast and he was very agreeable with my request when he said "Sure, I will get the charcoal fire going and make one special roast for you." Man, I can't tell you how excited and grateful I am!

I ended up ordering both of versions of the Dong Ding. I was curious to see the differences between these two teas and I want you to have a chance to see how a great tea maker can bring out the best in a tea.

I received these two Charcoal Roasted Dong Ding teas in early September and you may have noticed that they haven't been listed for sale on the website. There is a reason for this. For teas like these, it will take some time for them to open up so that they're ready to be enjoyed. I want them to open up and reach a certain amount of balance before I feel comfortable offering them for purchase.

I have been tasting them from time to time over the past month. First, I liked the lighter roast better, only to change my mind a week later, and then finding it to be too rough on my third tasting. Yesterday when I tasted both teas, they finally opened up enough and I really like both of them!

The broth of the darker roast (left) and the lighter roast Dong Ding (right)

The lighter roasted one has more of that Dong Ding fruit smell and taste. Its liquid disperses very nicely inside of the mouth and it's more balanced on the palate. The heavier roasted Dong Ding has a dually heavy yet soft feeling broth happening for it at the same time. The way it slides down to the throat area is better and the salivation is stronger.

The open leaf of the darker roast (left) and lighter roast Dong Ding (right)

I like how the lighter roasted one holds all the features together so nicely and I like how the darker one has more dimension and dynamic. And you know what I like about a good charcoal roasted Dong Ding? It never ceases to change and transform and the tea will stay good for a very long time!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Pod Cast: A Talk On Taiwanese Oolong With Ken Cohen of Talking Tea

I love drinking tea with people. When customers from other states take their time to visit Floating Leaves Tea, I feel special and grateful to make that face to face connection with tea lovers from around the country.

A couple of months ago, a tea lover from Philadelphia named Ken came to Floating Leaves Tea. I had so much fun drinking tea with him and his partner. Near the end of our chat, he told me that he hosts a podcast to promote tea knowledge. He asked me if I would like to be a guest on his program. Of course, I love to talk about tea!

That was my first time doing a podcast. Those of you who have had tea with me have probably noticed that when I start to talk about tea, I can't stop. It's no surprise then that this podcast turned out to be pretty long.

Like many people, I can't stomach listening to my own voice in a recording. For the first five minutes of the program, I was literally holding on to the table while saying, "Oh my goodness!" By the end though, I felt very good listening to the program. I know that my enthusiasm and love for tea was clear, even through my strong accent! If you get a chance to listen to it, I hope you feel the same way. And please give us feedback and let us know what you would like to hear and learn about in future videos or podcasts.. Enjoy the talk!