Typically I’m a Taiwanese oolong guy, but I enjoy lightly oxidised oolongs so much that I’m always up for trying oolongs from different region. Tie Guan Yin – also labelled as Iron Buddha, amongst other names – is one of the best-known Chinese oolongs. Today I’ll be tasting a spring 2014 Anxi Tie Guan Yin available at Teasenz. First impressions are very positive, as the aroma of the dry leaf is jumping and the leaves are beautiful. Read on for the full review.
Dry leaf: The dry leaf consists of small, tightly-rolled balls that range in colour from light green to dark green. It has a sweet, grassy aroma
Infused tea: The tea cups out a light green liquor that has a strong floral (orchid-like) aroma. It is a medium-bodied tea that has very little astringency. The second and third infusions are dominated by floral, orchid-like flavours. Sweeter notes are present in the first, fourth and fifth infusions. The liquor has a wonderful, lingering aftertaste
Infusion tips: You can prepare this tea western style or gong fu. Typically I am all for gong fu style, but I think steeping it for two minutes (first infusion, then increase infusion time 30 seconds to one minute for each subsequent steeping) with 95C water really brought out the best in this tea. But play around with the tea and see what you like. Try infusing this tea four to six times
Conclusions: This is an extremely good Tie Guan Yin: it is fresh, packed with aroma, has a smooth, complex liquor, and a long-lingering aftertaste. While I don’t know that I could ever be converted from Taiwanese oolongs, I definitely would not sneer if I was served this tea. It is top-quality and a pleasure to drink
Retail price: 15 grams for $2.24 / 70 grams for $8.95 / 200 grams for $23.00