Old Growth Anxi Tie GuanyinFloating Leaves Tea
Teacher Lai, the roaster of this tea, values an simple and clean aesthetic. He is practices Buddhism, which has deeply influenced his life and his approach to tea. His tea space is serene and uncluttered.
Teacher Lai is very sensitive and chooses teas that come from pristine, natural tea gardens. This Tie Guanyin is from a very old tea garden in Anxi. The way he describes these plants is that they have grown so deeply into the ground that their roots drink water from underground streams. This gives the tea "shiruxiang - 石乳香" (literally stone cream scent) or the scent of the calcium rich water that drips from stalactites in an undisturbed cave.
This tea is very soft and gentle, as well as structured and clear. The base tea is fragrant and has depth of character, and the roaster has used charcoal fire to bring the natural goodness of the tea into focus, like a photographer with a camera. This tea does not taste roasted. It is closer to 'green' Tie Guanyin, although it is unlike any green TGY we have ever tried.
The structure begins with the scent. As it enters the nose, the scent has dimension (it has a shape). The scent is penetrating, but gently so, with a bubbling sensation. In the mouth, the broth puffs up and spreads softly over the tongue. Salivation comes on quickly, but is more like a trickling stream than a river. The broth stimulates the body from the mouth to the belly. It is powerful, but the most apparent expression of this tea is purity, clarity and fineness.
If you are an intermediate or advanced tea drinker ready to take the next step in your tea journey, we sincerely recommend you taste this tea. It offers a look into the purity of naturally grown oolong, and shows how an accomplished artisan can refine a tea with charcoal fire. This is one of the cornerstone teacher teas on our menu, and after more than two full years with it we still feel it has a bottomless wealth of wisdom. We are grateful to be able to offer this tea.
Update 5/6/20 : The tea has begun to develop an aged taste like yeasty bread, and the greeness is no longer apparent. It feels warmer and the broth is rounder. This development is really exciting, and we are looking forward to more sessions exploring this tea as it changes!
- Harvest Location : Anxi, Fujian, China
- Harvest Date : 2014
- Roast Date : April 2018
- Cultivar : Tie Guan Yin
- Farming Method : Wild Bushes, Unsprayed