The Tea Detective
Uncovering and Exploring the Facts About Tea
Tung Ting Oolong-Taiwan's Most
Famous and Beloved Tea
In 1865 a scholar named Lin Feng-chih left his home in the town of Luku in Tai-
wan, crossing the Taiwan Strait to
China to take the examination to become a
government official in
Fujian Province.
Upon his return home he brought
the exciting news that he'd not
only passed the exam but also
brought with him 36 tea plants from China's
famous Wuyi Mountain tea gardens, which were
eventually planted at the base of Tung Ting
Mountain in Taiwan's Central Mountain Range.

From this auspicious beginning Tung Ting (Dong-
ding in Pinyin) became Taiwan's most beloved, and
many believe its first
quality
oolong tea.

For over a century
the tea gardens that
locals refer to as
"Frozen Peak" have
surrendered the highest quality leaf, earning them a reputation for
the finest oolong teas in the world.

Tung ting is grown just outside the samll
town of Luku in Nantou County, growing
within view of snow capped mountain
peaks, which is where its name "Frozen
Peak is derived from.

Luku, which means "Deer Valley" is nestled
in the foothills of Tung Ting Mountain, sur-
rounded by small rolling foothills containing
tea gardens, lining the roads for as far as
the eye can see.

Most of the tea in low lying elevations is
machine harvested, but for much of the fin-
est Tung Ting, the leaves are hand-plucked.
Hand-plucked oolongs are more expensive because
each pluck is a complete unit of specific leaf and stem,
making them more costly to
produce.

                                 Tung Ting is ball-rolled, with
                                 leaves tightly rolled into irregularly shaped balls with lots of stem.  This       
                                 distinctive shape, along with a bright gray-green color gives Tung Ting its
                                 unique appearance.

                                 Next to Baozhong this is one of the lightest oxidized teas (although all of
                                 
Taiwan's oolongs tend to be "greener" than their China cousins), at be-
                                 tween 15 to 25%, and the infusion is a pure clear yellow, sometimes
                                 tinged with a bit of green.

                                 Even though Tung Ting isn't considered a high mountain tea, over the last
                                 20 years its tea makers have begun to process it using some of the same
                                 techniques used for its
Ali shan and Li shan cousins, with a darker infusion
and similar, but more mellow, floral and citrus flavors.

The Tung Ting farmers and producers in Luku and surrounding areas take much pride in bringing
this tea to the
world, as well they should.  If you've never sampled an oolong, you're really
missing out.  If you try no other new tea this year, make it this one.  You won't be disappointed.
See the Amazon link below for authentic Tung Ting (Dong Ding oolong)  
Enjoy.   
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