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Hong Kong Charcoal Roasted Medium Grade Tieguanyin (50g)

Hong Kong Charcoal Roasted Medium Grade Tieguanyin (50g)

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December 1st, 2019

This tieguanyin is the medium grade produced by the only family that still uses charcoal to roast oolongs here in Hong Kong. This family have been continuously roasting tieguanyin in Hong Kong for over sixty years. This medium grade is excellent for serious gongfu cha sessions, and like my other high roast tieguanyins from Hong Kong, is a taste of Fujianese tieguanyin culture from before the Cultural Revolution! This tea reminds me of what old school Nantou Dongding used to be like (now called hongshui), but it blows much of the current hongshui out of the water!

This is my first time purchasing this grade of tieguanyin, and I find it to be excellent. It isn't quite as good as the top grade tea, but it is still a good example of old school high roast tieguanyin done the right way! The roast level isn't as high as with the other high roast tieguanyins I offer. The leaf does, however, have enough durability to sustain a high roast. I have aged top grade tieguanyin from this family and it is now truly lovely, and something I reserve for special occasions. The families that produce the other high roast tieguanyins I offer do not suggest aging their tea as the flavor will drop off over time.

From the dry leaf, I detect notes of cocoa, oatmeal and raisin! This is quite different from the top grade tieguanyin. This tea is really quite different from the top grade, but still very pleasurable, and at half the price, quite a good deal.

This freshly roasted tieguanyin is dark and inviting in the cup. In the cup, I get buttery notes, toast, caramel, fruit (longan and osmanthus) and classic tieguanyin flavor. There is date and mineral in the aftertaste, along with lots of lovely character. The current batch is surprisingly mild on the palate and the sourness is perfectly balanced. This tea has a truly lovely, full flavor. The roast has enhanced this tea, as it should, and tieguanyin are what this family have long been known for. I believe the current batch (at the time of writing) greatly surpasses the qingxin tieguanyin of this grade from previous years!

While I do detect some of the buttery toast notes from the Hong Kong (electric) roasted tieguanyin on the site, these notes are much less prevalent with this tea. The roast level is also significantly lower than with the high fire tieguanyin I offer, so less of the resulting notes from the roast are present here.

This tea leaves me with a nice, calm feeling, which is unexpected for a roasted tieguanyin. This is a great tea and one I highly recommend you try, especially if you like the other high roast tieguanyins on offer here at TeaLife HK!

Brewing suggestion: 100 Celsius. Either a gaiwan or teapot would suit this tea, and I suggest using vessels in the 80-120ml range. I would rinse once, then flash infuse, before lengthening each infusion by 5 seconds or so. If you notice the flavor drop off in an infusion, add ten seconds to the next infusion. Use water of low hardness (15-35 mg/L, with 1-3 mg/L of magnesium).

Wholesale pricing is available on this tea. Feel free to contact me for more information!

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