This is made with the Tie Guanyin cultivar, which has been increasingly hard to find in Taiwan these days. We were surprised to see it from a garden in Shi-Ding rather than the well known Muzha. However both are in Wenshan District of Taipei County. The old tea garden where these leaves were harvested primarily maintains these old world heritage cultivars.
This Tie Guanyin is made in the old fashioned way : Post oxidative rolling deepens the earthy tones and brings out the natural tartness of the leaf, and a heavy roast gives it the full body we expect from old school Tie Guanyin. The tea outfit that makes this tea is in the old harbor district in Taipei, and they have exclusive rights to this farmer’s product. They have been around for many years, and still sell tea the old fashioned way : As with a heavily oaked red wine, the tea receives a heavy roast and is then aged in house to create a ‘reserva’ type of release when the body of the tea has integrated with the aroma again. Most modern outfits, including Floating Leaves, usually sell freshly roasted tea and leave it up to the customer to decide how long to age the roasted oolong before drinking.
Old school Tie Guanyin taste. Stone fruit and chocolate aroma with that special petrichor note. Lots of body and that awesome tartness in the back of the throat that separates real Tie Guanyin from the imitators. This tastes more like roasted Anxi Tie Guanyin than like Muzha Tie Guanyin, but with a terroir all its own. Mouthfeel is focused and well composed with super long aftertaste.
We love old fashioned Tie Guanyin for its robust body and satisfying throaty finish. We were amazed to find one that hits all these notes for this price point.
- Harvest Location : Shi-Ding, Wenshan, Taiwan
- Roast Date : 2012 Spring
- Cultivar : Tie Guanyin
- Farming : Unsprayed