Tie Guan Yin Tea from producer Zhiqiang Wang
Basic info about this rare tea:
Tie Guan Yin Varietal
2017 Spring Tea
From Anxi County in Fujian Province
600-700 m Elevation Above Sea Level.
Temperature ( 95 to 96 degrees Celsius)
Brewing Vessel (Jingdezhen Porcelain Gaiwan)
Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)
Steeping Time ( less than 3 seconds per infusion, and every 2 infusions increasing the time by 5 to 10 seconds)
Number of Total Steepings: Over 8 strong infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves: Dried Nougat, Sour Apples, Grassy Nuts.
Aroma of Wet Leaves: Soft ketchup, Orchid.
Taste Profile: Boiled Broccoli with Gardenia Stems, Bitter Grass.
Texture Profile: Soft but Astringent.
Feeling/Aftertaste: Gentle, Sweet Melon aftertaste.
Poetic Expression: “ A bull frog taking a nap under the hibiscus flower.” -An ugly beast having pretty foods, that’s what I feel from this tea.
Price: 150 dollars/500 grams
Rating 7.2 out of 10.
I will first give a brief introduction to Tie Guan Yin.
The Chinese believe in two stories surrounding the myth of where Tie Guan Yin is originally from. The first story is from Wei, where the tail saids that Wei was concerned about the local temple that had a Iron statue of the Buddhist goddess Guan Yin, who is no other than Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit, while he was so poor and couldn’t even afford thinking about repairing the statue and temple. So, what he did was bringing a broom and some incense twice a month for a long time, accumulating merits for his good karma. One night, the goddess Guan Yin appeared in his dream indicating that there is a treasure in a cave nearby, and he was told to take it out and share it with others. In the cave, he found a tea shoot, and brought it out to plant in a small stream. This eventually became a great bush, providing the best tea. Later on, people in the village started to call this tea, Tie Guan Yin, The Iron Goddess of Mercy.
The second story is from Wang, as this tale goes like this. The great scholar Wang accidentally found a Tea bush underneath the Guanyin rock in Xiping, Anxi, China. He then brought the plant back home for cultivation. In the 6th year of ruling for the Qianlong Emperor, Wang visited the emperor with this tea as a gift from the local village. Qianlong was so impressed, he asked where this tea is from. From there, the name Guan Yin was started to be used for this tea.
There are three main types of Tie Guan Yin teas.
Traditional ( Charcoal roasted)
Jade or Modern Style ( Unroasted)
Medium Roast (Traditional medium roast)
The traditional-style Tie Guan Yin offers a very dark, heavily-oxidized, and was the first kind of Tie Guan Yin to ever be made. The roasting however is usually lighter and more fragrant than typical Wuyi Rock teas. The Medium Roast Tie Guan Yin offers very bright and deep aromas, compared with the Green Type, also known as Modern Style, very strong on the nose and has notes of gardenia flowers, honey butter, and melons. The market recently has shifted more attention on the Green Tie Guan Yin rather than the Traditional ones, due to the high-rise in Taiwanese Oolongs, and land, labor, and capital is actually cheaper to produce green oolongs in China than it is in Taiwan. Plus, making Green style requires less effort and is cheaper, so more people want to buy it, and the economy is rising for this.
I did enjoy this tea, but I wouldn’t say I am a lover of it, because I know the quality isn’t the highest. High quality Tie Guan Yins are very hard to find in the western Market, because of two main reasons. First, because the good Tie Guan Yins are being bought within China, and the outside market doesn’t usually get involved. Also, because the price gap between qualities of Tie Guan Yin significantly jumps from very low to high. I mean, very much. In my opinion, Pu Erh has a much more controlled and standard rate for Gushu material, while Tie Guan Yins are very skeptical and increase in price so much compared to other higher quality teas. This one I tried was given to me by Lillian Li, the owner of SpiriteaStudio, as it was given to her by her friend in Xiping, Anxi. The initial taste is very good, resulting in a deep, warm taste of broccoli, with gardenia stems. I should say this sample was not exclusive, but was not bad either. It was not a tea for me to contemplate on, and during the last 3 infusions, I experienced the typical, minerally, acidic sort of taste that comes from Green Tie Guan Yin when the session is almost starting to fade away. This gave me that look on my face of, “Is this the thing again?” Yes, so this tea is a good oolong but not a great oolong, because it doesn’t have anything unique, but very standard and fair. It is a good tea for beginners to compare qualities. For more info and to get sample packs of different grades of oolong teas, go to Spiritea Studio in Vancouver or contact Lillian at firstname.lastname@example.org. This was a introduction to Tie Guan Yin, more oolong related articles coming soon. Stay tuned for the next article, the Floral Mountain Tie Guan Yin.`
Basic info about this rare tea:
– Half raw and ripe Pu Erh
– From 1976
– A mixed material between different mountains.
– $2 a gram
Temperature ( 96 to 98 degrees celsius)
Brewing Vessel ( Yixing Hongni Factory 1 pot from 1990)
Grams of Leaves ( 8 grams)
Steeping Time ( less than 5 seconds per infusion, and every 5 infusions increasing the time by 5 to 10 seconds)
Number of Total Steepings: Over 16 strong infusions.
Aroma of Dry Leaves: Brown sugar, sweet ginseng
Aroma of Wet Leaves: Cinnamon cookies, dried dates.
Taste Profile: Pure agarwood, Chestnut cream
Texture Profile: Beginning is very smooth, but when passing the throat, intense
Feeling/Aftertaste: Extremely relaxed, every muscle feels refreshed.
Poetic Expression: “ The tea feels like a thief trying to steal from an empty house.” “Nothing to take, nothing to lose.”
Take a look at the mind and observe it, how it moves, how it feels, where our thoughts and understandings go and why it happens. Our mind is like a crazy monkey that cannot be controlled, yet when I drink this tea I felt as if somehow I am watching a movie happening inside of me, while I was standing apart from myself and just observing. The unique colours in the pitcher wehn brewed really shows the multiple layers of minerals, energies, and great storage. The mouthfeel being incredibly smooth to start, as it builds complexity within the throat and chest, it starts to move the energy and the “shoulder droppings” start to happen. By “shoulders dropping, I mean when you take a sip it relaxes your shoulders, and as it goes down to the stomach, you feel your shoulders drop down.
Keira told me that this tea was a half raw/half ripe tea, so the cooked aspect really shows in the beginning and is powerfully dark, but the lingering aftertaste and the hui gan definitely shows the potential of the raw nature it has. The agarwood incense is very strong, and the aftertaste of longan is amazing. This is such an amazing aged Pu Erh which usually signifies teas that were very astringent and bitter to begin with, but because it is aged for over 40 years, the tea has lost some of the original characteristics that may have been unpleasant and transformed into pure delight. If I am honest, I think this tea will be better appreciated and be loved by tea lovers who have some knowledge about Pu Erh and preferably has tried a couple aged Pu Erhs. The loose blend creates interesting notes within my mouth, and I think this is one of the most complex aged Pu Erhs I have ever had. But miraculously, it still does have a slight bitterness at the end, even though it has been aging for over 42 years. It means the enzymes are still trying to ferment this tea even more, as Pu Erh teas have no boundary to age.
Proper storage and humidity will keep the enzymes alive, tea healthy and taste beautiful. The storage for this tea was probably half Guangdong or HK storage, and half dryer storage. I do notice the slight wetness, but this doesn’t make the tea lesser in quality at all. It’s truly a wonderful tea to share at a special moment, cherishing for whatever that’s happening, making it a memorable one by using this hidden gem as the performer to dance in your soul.
This is a tea review of my experience with white tea, aged Shou Mei , from Fuding. It was given to me from my friend, Keira, from Vancouver. She works at Silver Crescent Tea, in downtown Vancouver, BC.
Basic Info about this Tea
- From Fuding, Fujian
- Da Bai or large white leaves cultivar
Temperature: (95 degrees)
Brewing Vessel: ( small Jingdezhen Gaiwan 90ml)
Grams of leaves: (6 grams)
Steeping Time : (Less than 4 seconds per infusion, increasing 5 seconds per two infusions)
Flavour: Wet hay, brown sugar, and a hint of nectarines.
Metaphor: Like clouds
Texture: Velvetly soft, feels like silk.
Strengths: sweet, long lasting mouthfeel and lots of energy .
Weakness: Too vegan, need more cream. I was expecting more cream.
My experience today was something fascinating. Today as it was cloudy and wet, I needed something soft and refreshing, so I chose to have a session of aged white tea. Somehow I felt like I was drinking pure water. No tea, like as if my taste buds were not working. Well, that’s not really the case. I felt as if the tea and I were one, and we were merging together as my awareness increases. The tea is inseparable, and as if I became one with the tea. Tea making is not only a practice of awareness and art, but in fact a yoga, a meditation that involves your wisdom, prajna aspect and your compassion, the karuna aspect. The wisdom aspect is the part that you use as the knowledge, which is everything that you know, and will know. Every perspective, movement, gesture, comes from knowledge and understanding, and this is the wisdom aspect of making the tea. The karuna aspect will be the motivation, energy and force.
What makes you create the cup of tea, is through the aspiration, intention, and the creation of thought. Through focusing on these two points, our soul can be digged deeper, and making tea can really explain our nature of mind. When I was enjoying this tea, this is the feeling I got because of the richness of nutrients of the leaves, making me feel much more open and flexible. When you drink good tea, it is much more easier to activate your chi, and see the results for yourself. I really recommend this tea if you are interested to discover something more, a deeper experience, and the way of tea yoga. If I had to rate this tea out of 10, I would give it a good 7.5 out of 10. It is decent, very good, but not some I would die for. I would’ve liked if more creaminess and if the aroma is richer and more persistent. That would be the most ideal. However, in general, this was a very enjoyable aged Shou Mei tea.