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Silver Grade Medium Oxidation Anxi Tieguanyin Oolong (15g)

Silver Grade Medium Oxidation Anxi Tieguanyin Oolong (15g)

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Description

April 2018: this tea has been stored at room temperature and has mellowed with age. It is sweet and smooth, so has lost some complexity. I have a new batch ready to go up, but what I have left of this batch is now available at a 50% discount! The price has been adjusted to reflect this.

This tieguanyin is from one of Hong Kong's oldest tea companies. I find this particular dealer's tieguanyin and liu an to be consistently good, and good for the money, even though they are most famous for their pu erh (as most Hong Kong tea companies are). This is the second highest grade of tieguanyin the dealer offers. The higher grade costs twice as much, and I have yet to try it!

This dealer's tieguanyin is always better value and quality than the tieguanyin I've purchased on the mainland, which often leaves me feeling nauseous and is also often flawed in some way. This tea is lovely all around. It is clean and balanced and there is nothing whatsoever unpleasant about this tea. It is floral and vegetal in the first infusion, and there is no bitterness or sourness unless the tea is pushed hard, even when brewing at full boil. This tea isn't the nuclear green TGY sometimes encountered on the mainland; this tea is more oxidized than the kind that is dried with airconditioners for the Mainland Chinese market nowadays, and this tea is produced specifically for the Hong Kong market, where the more oxidized kind of tieguanyin has long been popular.

What I find interesting about this tieguanyin is how much it varies from infusion to infusion. This is a much more dynamic tieguanyin than the kind we are likely to encounter today. After the first infusion, there is pronounced huigan (returning sweetness) and a fig-like note that I get from good Wuyicha. That kind of complexity is never encountered in lower-grade tieguanyin, or even the high grade modern kind which is very lightly oxidized. The huigan from this tea persists into the third infusion, where I also get a balanced sour note. Tieguanyin drinkers in this part of the world expect some characteristic sourness from their tieguanyin, but too much sourness can be highly unpleasant. This tea always stays balanced and pleasant, which is always a good indicator of quality with any tea.

The fourth infusion in the pictures above gave me a fresh milk-like note, like you might expect in some phenotypical expressions of the jinxuan cultivar. I found this very interesting, as I rarely encounter milk notes in tieguanyin.

This tea went six infusions in the session in the pictures. A few stems made it through sorting (perhaps intentionally). Tieguanyin stems are known to soften a brew and different producers have different methods of dealing with stems; sometimes all of the stems are removed and sometimes a few are left behind to balance things out. I got fig and almond in the last infusion, along with balanced sweet and sour all the way to the end. That kind of complexity and flavor was really very welcome and not something I expected. I hope to try their highest grade of tieguanyin soon and if it meets my standards (I have no doubt it will), I will offer it here on the site.

While the leaves aren't all whole or flawless by any means, the liquor produced is excellent for the money, and with none of the discomfort I sometimes get from Anxi tieguanyin I've purchased on the Mainland. I don't normally drink greener tieguanyin, but I'm always happy to drink this this vendor's higher end tieguanyin offerings!

My brewing suggestions for this tea are to just cover the bottom of a preheated teapot or gaiwan with dry balled leaf. Rinse with water off the boil. Each infusion should be made with water at full boil. I start with infusions of 40 seconds to a minute, and increase the length of each successive infusion by 10-20 seconds from there.

Volume discounts are available on this tea! Please contact me for more information.

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