If you find a good TGY, it’s a keeper. Good Tie Guan Yins are very hard to come across. This is because with TGY, and basically any Chinese oolongs in general; there are so many steps to perfect the tea. Even if 9 out of the 10 steps involved are superbly done, if the last step is lacking or not good, the tea can easily become bad and not delicious anymore. Also, there is so much demand for TGY in the market, and so finding a top grade TGY is very difficult. In China, the word Tie Guan Yin is so famous, and is very classic. Even if the person doesn’t drink tea, they would at least recognize the name of this tea, “Iron Kwan Yin.”
Last week, I decided to try another Mei Leaf tea, and I didn’t expect this TGY to blow my mind to this extent. I really really enjoyed this one. This is some information given by Don about this tea.
“This is a very famous Chinese tea and it is in huge demand which inevitably means that it is produced in large quantities with big differences in quality and styles. Our Qing Xiang Tie Guan Yin is true Anxi Iron Goddess made in the modern Light Qing Xiang style.”
“Traditional Tie Guan Yin (Chuan Tong) is oxidised more and at room temperature, whereas the more modern light Tie Guan Yin (Qing Xiang) borrows the more Taiwanese approach of cold room withering and lower oxidation. This is why modern Tie Guan Yin tends to have a more flowery and rich aroma compared with the thicker texture traditional tea.” Mr. Don Mei
Basic info about this special tea:
2017 Autumn Zheng Wei Tie Guan Yin
Guan Yin Cultivar
Up to third or fourth leaf picking
From Chang Keng Village, Anxi, Fujian China
Temperature ( 95 degrees celsius)
Brewing Vessel (120 ml Jingdezhen gaiwan)
Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)
Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every infusions increasing the time by 15 to 20 sec depending after infusion 3)
Number of Total Steepings: 12 infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves: Fresh, spring, lily orchid, grassy, layers of cream and florals.
Aroma of Wet Leaves: Honeydew melon sweetness, grassy, but not really eggy. Very clean, fresh yet creamy smelling.
Taste Profile: See Below
Texture Profile: medium to medium thick
Feeling/Aftertaste: Cooling sensation towards the back of the mouth, watering huigan.
Price: 6.67 dollars/8 grams
Rating 8.5 out of 10.
The moment I placed this tea inside the hot gaiwan, I knew I was in for a treat. The tea, smelt so divine. So much going on– that my explanation won’t be able to tell you how much it can offer you. Not only was it grassy, but incredibly floral, creamy, and somewhat nutty. There was a thickness in the smell as well. Not just sweet, but dense and rich.
The first infusion was grassy, but yet also floral. The florals were like gardenia, and flowers that smell quite green yet sweet. Some jasmine, lilies, and very green florals. After you swallow, the creaminess will spread in your mouth, and the tea coats the mouth evenly.
Second and third infusions: Grassy, and creamy like butternut squash wrapped in unsweetened honeydew sauce. Clear, crisp and clean.
Fourth and fifth brew: Sweeter, nuttier and creamier. More and more of creaminess coming out through each infusion. Very minimal astringency, no bitterness. Some green apple notes detectable.
Sixth to eighth brew : Nothing much has changed in taste wise, but in fact getting better. Sweeter, rounder, and has shifted from being veggie like to honey like.
Ninth to Eleventh: Finally, the banana comes. When I breathe out, the notes of honeydew and banana are present. Very fragrant.
Twelveth: The tea has almost no taste left, but the water tastes soft and still creamy. Nice thickness.
I am very pleased with this quality of TGY, and how durable it was. Many TGY will die off after the second or even the first infusion, and turn into this broccoli and eggy kind of tea. I don’t like the taste of that. It’s too simple, and not elegant. However, Mei Leaf’s Superior Iron Goddess had it all. The floral, the cream, and the nice texture. In addition to that, the returning sweetness was incredible as well. I don’t have enough experience to talk about Yin Yun, but I felt a slight stiffness near the sides of my mouth which may be the same Yin Yun that many connoisseurs are talking about. This is a very good Qin Xiang or unroasted TGY. Good job, and thank you Don for sourcing this. It’s truly a nice tea, and is well rounded, and a satisfying TGY.