Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sea Dyke Da Hong Pao 400g Tin

Sea Dyke had being busy revamping itself by introducing a wider range of tea as well as using more fancy packaging for their tea.  As a result, teas produced by Sea Dyke are now more expensive.  Maybe its the higher costs of production and the very high demand worldwide for their tea that had driven up the prices for their products.

One of their new range of products introduced in 2013 were Lao Chung Shui Hsien and Da Hong Pao 400g tinned edition.  Yes, both of these oolongs are already available and had been produced by Sea Dyke in boxes and tins.  Readers would had read my tea sessions with their Lao Chung (link) and Da Hong Pao (link).   

These 2 new offerings by Sea Dyke are different in that Sea Dyke's selling point for these 2 tins are that the tea are harvested from Wuyi mountains.  Oolongs grown in the Wuyi region are considered to be 'the original' oolong.  Traditional oolong tea drinkers attest that oolong from the Wuyi region are best and oolong harvested from certain tea reserves there can be extraordinarily expensive.  

I opened the Da Hong Pao tin (2014 edition) and you will observe that the tea are packed in tin foil packets, 10g of tea in each bag.  You get 40 packets in a large 400g tin.  The use of such tins can be really challenging if you are buying them and have to carry the tins home after your purchase.  It will take up lots of luggage space if you are flying.  However, such tins do protect the tea leaves from breaking if the tea were packed in paper boxes instead.  

You can brew this tea 3 ways.  One is economy - use 5g per session in a 80ml teapot of smaller, the other business class - all 10g in a 130ml teapot in one tea session.  10g of oolong in a 130ml teapot sound luxurious but my oolong drinker friends in Ipoh, Malaysia brews 1st class - 9.5g in a 80ml teapot.  My Ipoh oolong tea drinker friends (more in later blogs) believed that aged oolong should be appreciated and taste best under '1st class' brewing method. 

For this tea, I like brewing the tea using all 10g in a 130ml teapot.  One way to appreciate this tea is to take a sip of the tea, hold it in your mouth, take a breath of air through your teeth and then breathe out the air through your nose while holding the tea in your mouth.  This will 'envelope' your nose, mouth and throat with the aroma.  Brewing your oolong on the strong side will result in a very aromatic sensation in your mouth and nose which will linger for some time.  Of course, you have to do it gracefully. Some practice is needed if not, you will look like a dribbling or salivating baby.

I must go slow with this tea…..less than half a tin left after 2 months of opening.   

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