Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tie Guan Yin from Teaspring

Scent in package: light, floral, very relaxing and soothing vanilla-orchid type fragrance.
Brewed in: Tea for one/metal infuser
Steeped: 1 min.@just under boiling x2
Cup: Café mug

The dried leaves of this tea are gorgeous – vibrant green and tightly curled. Just looking at them, and smelling that lovely light floral fragrance was very soothing for a Monday-morning break. The second the hot water hit the leaves, they gave off this amazing floral fragrance that lasted through the short brewing time. It’s very enjoyable just brewing this tea, even at work.

The first infusion had a very buttery scent wafting up out of the cup, and I looked forward to the first sip. The flavor was very light though, odd, since the tea was a dark yellow, and I was hoping the taste would match. It did have that distinctive “woody vegetable” taste however (asparagus, etc), and what flavor there was, was very enjoyable. It was just too light, even steeped with very hot water.

The second infusion was nice as well, but still a bit light for my taste. This is only the second Tie Guan Yin (Ti Kuan Yin, etc) I’ve tried, but the last one seemed more flavorful while remaining delicate. Perhaps it was my brewing method, since I used a gaiwan for that one, with more of a gong fu brewing, rather than the more “british” method of brewing I used for this one.

In any case, it’s not harsh at all, quite mellow, and it is enjoyable, but I would have liked a bit more “richness” to the tea personally. The scent is my favorite part – it has all the richness and complexity that I’d like to taste, but unfortunately, it doesn’t carry through.

I’ll probably pass on this one next time, but will try others in the same vein from different places to compare.

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