I had this tea the other night while in the middle of a long flight down to Austin to visit family. As these things always go, my first flight was delayed about two hours, which left about 10 minutes to run to my other gate…. oy yoy. You know how it is.

Anyway, when I was finally on my second, final flight, I decided I would get hot water and make some tea. I had brought several new kinds for my parents to try, but the only one I remembered to put in my purse was a packet of this Tieguanyin.

Well, I was worried that I was going to be wasting the tea. Luckily, not at all! I opened the packet and poured out just a little bit into the styrofoam cup full of hot water from the coffee machine. Usually, I’ll try a green on the plane, and it will just taste smokey and overly-meat like because of the not-really-boiling coffee-tasting water they use. This one though..phew, what a treat! It was delicious and felt decadent and it was absolutely what I needed to calm myself down. I sipped and sipped on it as long as I could, and watched the tightly rolled balls slowly unfurl.

Thanks, Tieguanyin! You tempted me to indulgence, and took me from stressed unhappy and sick to perfectly relaxed and content. I was just sad the flight was so short I couldn’t get a refill on my hot water. I was smacking my lips and enjoying the thick aftertaste for the rest of the flight.

Yum!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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I generally drink Chinese teas.

I love things that are interesting, that force me to stop and think about and enjoy what I’m experiencing. Even better are those teas you just have to drink with a friend so that the outpouring of tastes and memories find a sounding board in a trusted companion.

I’m into tea as an experience rather than just a thirst quenching beverage. I love to learn- there’s so much to learn about tea.

I also prefer my teas to be exceedingly delicious, if at all possible. Luckily, I have great tea friends and teachers that can hook me up with the good stuff.

Something I’ve noticed about my ratings:
I tend to use Steepster more like Yelp and less like Twitter. I’ll generally only review a tea once in its life (though that review and rating might be edited over time to reflect changes in my own understanding of it).
I do not generally log each tea I’m drinking as I drink, since that feels like a distraction- I’d rather just drink the tea!
I tend to only review teas I really love or that I really did not enjoy. If it falls somewhere in the middle of “meh” and “that was pretty good, I suppose,” then I won’t be compelled to sit down and spend time giving a nice, fleshed out review and rating.
As such, it might seem like I give out high scores willy-nilly. Instead, I’m doing my first round of rating mentally off-site, and presenting only the teas I really want to share with everyone.

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Richfield, MN

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