drank Tie Guan Yin by Send Me Tea
14 tasting notes

This is the first oolong I’ve tried. I hadn’t heard anything about the Send Me Tea company before, and I didn’t really know anything about Tie Guan Yin (apart from the fact that it seems to be a popular type of oolong), so I just took a punt.

I enjoyed the whole experience from beginning to end. I broke out an old porcelain teapot we haven’t used in ages, and was glad that I did – I couldn’t believe the enormous size of the tea leaves after a few steepings!

I really wasn’t confident of the correct tea-to-water ratio. The packet said one teaspoon of tea per cup, plus “one for the pot”, but I’d read elsewhere that one teaspoon per cup is sufficient. I went for one teaspoon per cup (250ml), and the result was a pale golden liquor with not much flavour in the front end, but a subtle yet delightfully sweet floral note in the finish. I found myself wondering if I’d brewed it just a little too weak, but my wife enjoyed it just the way it was. I’d be interested to know the tea-to-water ratio that others use for various oolongs.

After my third steeping for the evening, I simply couldn’t imbibe any more tea. The front end seemed to pick up on the second steeping, and then back off again on the third, with a gradual decline in the floral finish over the three steepings. To be honest, I think the first steeping was my favourite.

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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I inherited the tea-drinking gene from my mother and my grandparents. My sister inherited the coffee-drinking gene from my father – unfortunately I couldn’t save her!

In my teens, I thought that Twinings loose tea was the pinnacle of quality tea. It wasn’t until my wife stumbled across the Lupicia store in Melbourne and brought home some Lapsang Souchong (the Twinings loose tea variety seems hard to come by around here nowadays) that I realised there’s a whole world of quality tea out there.

I drink tea every day, although I’ve been trying to limit my intake of black tea – I recently realised that I was downing eight-to-ten cups of strong black tea a day! I love the rituals in tea-making as much as the tea itself, and I always look forward to sharing new teas with friends over a chat at the dining table.

My father was given a gift of some oolong tea in Hong Kong, which he hands out very sparingly, and I’ve just started to explore oolong teas myself.

Generally, however, my taste in tea leans towards black teas that are big and bold, such as Lapsang Souchong. I do also enjoy green tea, but I fear that Lapsang has ruined my tastebuds forever! Ah, Lapsang, you are a fickle friend…

I live in regional Victoria, Australia, with the missus and three little ‘uns. Coming from an Italian background, my wife prefers coffee to tea, but will occasionally try a new tea with me. My tea rituals seem to have captured the imagination of my two oldest children, and the highlight of 2011 (apart from the birth of our third child) was when my six-year-old was asked what he’d like to drink with his evening meal, and he replied “I’ll have Russian Caravan please!”


Victoria, Australia

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