This is one of our cabinet staples. It was the first tieguanyin I ever tasted, and so far, remains my favorite tieguanyin. It’s slightly sweet and very lightly floral. When infused for long enough, the sweetness drops away and the tea becomes more robust and slightly nutty. For me, it causes an ever so slight drying sensation in my mouth, which, oddly, just adds to the experience. We used to make this “dorm room” style, tossing the leaves into a cup, adding hot water, and drinking as soon as it was cool enough to handle. We would then top off our cups with more water for hours, until we got every bit of flavor out of our tea (we had to get the most of our $12 for 2 oz box of tea! What an investment!). Today, I started out brewing the tea according to the instructions on the box, western style with an infuser basket, though I did decrease the amount from 1 tbs for 8 oz of water to only .5 tbs. While that was nice and all, I switched over to “dorm room” style after a few steepings, because there is just something so comforting about recreating my silly late night tea experiences with my friends. Also, I can personally guarantee that this tea pairs well with cheap, greasy Chinese takeout.
As a side note, I am amazed by the quality of this tea, considering it comes from a large, nationwide distributor, and sold in grocery stores. I mean, Whole Foods, but grocery stores! Some of the leaves are nearly as long as the palm of my hand! I think this is a great introductory tea for getting people more into loose leaf. It’s entirely inoffensive, easy to obtain, incredibly forgiving in terms of steeping time and water temperature, and delicious!