I personally met Dōngé during a tea-trip to China with her daughter, RedSquare, a tea master living in America. I met Dōngé at her son’s home in the city of Changsha, the capital of Hunan, before RedSquare and I left for Anhua to source Hunan Heicha. I distinctly remember her making The Best omelet I’ve ever had for breakfast one morning. Her kind and respectful demeanor were very much noticeable as she welcomed me as one of her family.
It wasn’t until a few years had passed that I learned Dōngé even made tea. I was privileged to be able to try a small amount and it’s been a tea very dear to my heart ever since. Not only does it have a connection with the woman I met, but this tea is one with the most powerful and relaxing chaqi I’ve ever found in not only a green tea, but any tea.
The taste has changed a tad since I first had it Dōngé smoked with pinecones when I first had it. The use of gumballs from sweet-gum trees has not only improved the chaqi, but it’s also settled the smokiness so that the taste of the tea is now present.
I’ve had anxiety most of my life; one cup of Dōngé Tea settles my nerves down and I begin to chill. Don’t be shy and let its chaqi calm you’re nerves when anxious and calm your mind when it's racing.
Words from RedSquare:
“Dōngé Tea was inherited from my grandmother. The art of tea processing was refined by my mother, Dōngé, over the past 40 year; the smoking technique especially over the last 10 years. It has been our family tradition for 3 generations. It is a tea that is as necessary as salt in our daily life for the sake of Health, Tradition, and Hospitality.”
“Dōngé Tea was hand-plucked from our private family tea garden in a small town of Ningxiang, Hunan, China which produces Yellow Tea, Dark Tea, and Green Tea. Each fresh leaf was carefully selected, hand washed from the water of our family well, hand rolled, gently smoked by hand-picked Sweet-gum tree balls and Pinecones.”
“The smokiness grants a comprehensive substance to the body of the tea. Although the smokiness is the registered ¬flavor, it is shaded with the fragrance of an Orchid. Yet, the sweetness is subtle and present. It is the feeling of meeting a long-lost friend, warmhearted and restoring,
comforting and gentle, invigorating, and delightful. It accompanies greatly in the morning light, or with an afternoon delight and any lovely evening sight.”
You can learn more about the RedSquare from her website: redsquarenyc.com