drank Tie Guan Yin by Unknown
1270 tasting notes

Okay, Steepsterites.

Yesterday I had the Clear Jade Orchid and I just keep steeping the same leaves throughout the day. Three cups all in all, the last one I had sort of mid-afternoon-ish and at that point I had to pee constantly. Large cups, these.

Today we’re having another oolong and this time it’s a real genuine chinese Tie Guan Yin. Yes I am aware that all Chinese tea is genuine Chinese tea, but as this came to the household via a chinese colleague of my boyfriend’s who brought it with her when she got to Denmark and then gave him, for some reason, a whole bag of the stuff. We don’t know why but my theory is that he must at some point (he has worked with her before, and then she was home in China for a few months and is now back to work there again.) have told her about me and my interest and that would be the reason why.

My gain, anyway.

This is packed in portion sized samples and it’s in those wrappers where all air has been sucked out of it before sealing. It only says ‘Tie Guan Yin China Tea’ on the wrapper, which is golden, and then it’s got some Chinese characters on it as well. Nothing wtih western letters giving a clue as to brand or similar. I have attempted to take a picture of the wrapper so that you can see, but as the kittens were ‘helping’ me operate the camera… I have included picture links at the bottom. If anybody can read the Chinese writing for me, I would appreciate it. One portion packet seems to go quite well in size with my small teapot, so that’s what we’re going with here. That tiny wrapper held a whole little handful of leaves. Amazing how little space things take up just by having the air sucked out of it.

I actually remembered to smell the leaves before putting them in the pot. They had a rich, thick smell. Sort of dark green and woodsy, which made me think of a forest environment. Deciduous, mostly. I know it’s really fields and plantations, but I rather like the idea that it might be tea growing among a bunch of other plants and trees, and maybe, just maybe, there’s a tiger or a firefox just around the corner…

After steeping it smells more toasty and woodsy, and the colour has changed. It’s more orange now than green. Strangely enough it’s the same orange as the colour of the tea in the cup so that leads me to think that perhaps this particular smell does not actually trigger synesthesia so much as my brain belives it does because it makes the association with what I can see in the cup. It does smell like that colour though, so who knows, really?

There is a strong floral note to the aroma as well. If I close my eyes I picture little white flowers, although I have no idea what sort of flowers they are. I don’t know plants. I think my brain is just inventing some random flowers really.

It has a very full flavour. Just a few sips and my whole mouth is filled with a strong aftertaste. Again it’s got a quite toasted note which I rather like. In spite of the leaves looking very green oolong it gives the flavour a more darkish oolong boost. I’m not really a fan of those very very green oolongs. To me, with those one might as well have gone for a green tea proper instead. I like it when an oolong actually tastes like oolong.

That means woodsy, slightly earthy and toasted flavours. It’s kind of grainy and nutty too. A bit like the ricey aspect of a genmaicha, really. If you picked a genmaicha apart and focused ONLY on the flavour that the popped rice in it imparts, that’s what I’m reminded of.

I’m very pleased with this and would rate it around 85 points. As I don’t know the brand, I’m not going to put an official rating on it though. Others might have other unknown TGY’s and it would just be a mess, I think.

Picture of the wrapper: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/sOYrqqoOej7KewgJg0Ppxjt0rtk7VScRcTAqR2hWR8Q?feat=directlink

Mercuryhime

I’m totally the same when I drink oolong. I’m making a trip to the bathroom every half hour or less. I started making each infusion only quarter cup of liquid so that I can taste the tea without overloading my bladder.

Cole

If you’re looking for something with a bit more gardenia/floral notes, I’d reccomend a Dong Ding. I love taiwanese oolongs, but don’t really care for TGY as much as others because I like mine a bit “greener.” You can get 7-10+ solid steeps out of a high mountain oolong — I love these things! Pretty potent diuretics, they are :)

Angrboda

Cole, I’m not really a fan of floral. Scented teas tend to often be a bit to perfume-y for me to really appreciate them, and I do best with floral when it’s naturally occurring and when there are plenty of other aspects to the flavour to even it out a bit. So something that was more floral than this, I would probably avoid. Or at least save for last. Thanks for the thought, though. :)

Mercuryhime, I took that advice with the barley oolong yesterday and drank that all day in half pots. (It’s one of those tea-for-one sized pots) It also gave me the advantage of actually being able to have more than one, perhaps two steeps, before I got tired of it and wanted something else. Six whole cups I got out of that one, although the sixth was rather weakly. Could probably have been more if I had raised the steep time higher than I did at that point.

Mercuryhime

Nice! I also use a tea-for-one pot for oolongs. I had it for years and years and never used it until one day a light bulb went off and I thought “This is perfect for gung fu style!”
I’m happy you got more out of your tea this time. Tasting all the differences in the different steeps is part of the fun of an oolong. :)

Angrboda

To be honest, apart from it getting weaker towards the end, I don’t pick up very many differences generally. But I feel like I’m getting more out of the leaves without the constant toilet trips.

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Comments

Mercuryhime

I’m totally the same when I drink oolong. I’m making a trip to the bathroom every half hour or less. I started making each infusion only quarter cup of liquid so that I can taste the tea without overloading my bladder.

Cole

If you’re looking for something with a bit more gardenia/floral notes, I’d reccomend a Dong Ding. I love taiwanese oolongs, but don’t really care for TGY as much as others because I like mine a bit “greener.” You can get 7-10+ solid steeps out of a high mountain oolong — I love these things! Pretty potent diuretics, they are :)

Angrboda

Cole, I’m not really a fan of floral. Scented teas tend to often be a bit to perfume-y for me to really appreciate them, and I do best with floral when it’s naturally occurring and when there are plenty of other aspects to the flavour to even it out a bit. So something that was more floral than this, I would probably avoid. Or at least save for last. Thanks for the thought, though. :)

Mercuryhime, I took that advice with the barley oolong yesterday and drank that all day in half pots. (It’s one of those tea-for-one sized pots) It also gave me the advantage of actually being able to have more than one, perhaps two steeps, before I got tired of it and wanted something else. Six whole cups I got out of that one, although the sixth was rather weakly. Could probably have been more if I had raised the steep time higher than I did at that point.

Mercuryhime

Nice! I also use a tea-for-one pot for oolongs. I had it for years and years and never used it until one day a light bulb went off and I thought “This is perfect for gung fu style!”
I’m happy you got more out of your tea this time. Tasting all the differences in the different steeps is part of the fun of an oolong. :)

Angrboda

To be honest, apart from it getting weaker towards the end, I don’t pick up very many differences generally. But I feel like I’m getting more out of the leaves without the constant toilet trips.

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Bio

Ang lives with Husband and two kitties, Charm and Luna, in a house not too far from Århus. Apart from drinking tea, she enjoys baking, especially biscuits, reading and jigsaw puzzles. She has recently acquired an interest in cross-stitch and started a rather large project. It remains to be seen whether she has actually bitten off more than she can chew…

Ang prefers black teas and the darker sorts of oolongs. She has to be in the mood for green and white, and she enjoys, but knows little to nothing about, pu-erh.

Her preferences with black teas are the Chinese ones, particularly from Fujian, but also Keemun and just about anything smoky. She occasionally enjoys Yunnans but they’re not favourites. She has taken some time to research Ceylon teas, complete with reference map, and has recently developed some interest in teas from Africa.

She is sceptical about Indian blacks as she generally finds them too astringent and too easy to get wrong. She doesn’t really care for Darjeelings at all. Very high-grown teas are often not favoured.

She likes flavoured teas as well, particularly fruit flavoured ones, but also had an obsession with finding the Perfect Vanilla Flavoured Black and can happily report that this reclusive beast has been spotted in a local teashop near where she works. Any and all vanilla flavoured teas are still highly attractive to her, though. Also nuts and caramel or toffee. Not so much chocolate. It’s a texture thing.

However, she thinks Earl Grey is generally kind of boring. Cinnamon and ginger are also not really a hit, and she’s not very fond of chais. Evil hibiscus is evil. Even in small amounts, and yes, Ang can usually detect hibiscus, mostly by way of the metallic flavour of blood it has.

Ang is not super impressed with rooibos or honeybush on their own. She doesn’t care for either, really, but when they are flavoured, they go usually go down a treat.

Ang used to have a Standard Panel of teas that she tried to always have on hand. She put a lot of thought into defining it and decided what should go on it. It was a great idea on paper, but in practise has been discovered to not really work as well.

Ang tries her best to make a post on Steepster several times a week. She tends to write her posts in advance in a word doc (The Queue) and posting from there. This, she feels, helps her to maintain regularity and stops her from making five posts in three days and then going three weeks without posting anything at all.

Angrboda is almost always open to swapping. Just ask her. Due to the nature of the queue, however, and the fact that it’s some 24 pages long at the moment, it may take a good while from she receives your parcel and until she actually posts about it.

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Contact Angrboda by email: [email protected]
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Bio last updated February 2014

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