Thursday, June 4, 2015

Zhen Tea Tie Guan Yin - Classic

Country of Origin: China
Leaf Appearance: small, somewhat dark and twisted
Ingredients: oolong tea
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Liquor: brassy gold

When I saw +ZhenTea at the New York Coffee and Tea Festival, this tea really caught my eye and they were kind enough to gift me a bit to take home. Prior to the 1990's Tie Guan Yin was produced as a strip style oolong with heavier roasting. This tea was produced in that older style. The vividly green, tightly rolled oolong that we know today is a result of influences from Taiwanese processing and changes in market demand. The difference was quite remarkable. My tea station was instantly flooded with the scents of citrus. In the taste the citrus took on a slightly smoky, almost caramelized affect. The mouth-feel was somewhat thick and there was a pleasant floral sweetness that lingered long after each sip. There was no bitterness or astringency to think of. I increased the steep time by about 10 seconds for each round and it stayed strong until I was brewing for well over a minute. I was positively smitten with this tea. It was everything that I wanted Tie Guan Yin to be ever since I first discovered loose leaf tea. Some Instagram followers questioned that validity of this tea being Tie Guan Yin, insisting that it was in fact Tie Luo Han. I can tell you that after tasting it that this is definitely TGY. I had about 2g of leaves leftover so I decided to give bowl brewing a try later the same evening. It worked perfectly that way too! The floral aspects became a bit more pronounced while the roasted quality stepped to the background.

+ZhenTea recently shared an excellent travelogue of their tea consultants travels in Anxi. I highly recommend taking a look!

To find out more about Tie Guan Yin, check out my Meet the Tea post!

Tie Guan Yin - Classic sample provided by Zhen Tea.

A photo posted by Nicole Martin (@teaformeplease) on