After trying and reviewing H&S’s Top Ti Kuan Yin, I decided to try their other TKY offering. I wasn’t expecting much but honestly I was surprised.
I opened the tin and took out a few leaves for inspection. The dry leaf is made up of tiny tightly curled up balls with a rich bright green color, very pleasing to the eye. They are very aromatic with even a single leaf giving out a gentle floral fragrance.
Surprisingly this tea did come with instructions on the side of the tin, but it asked for boiling water. I usually don’t prepare TKY’s using water that hot, so I double checked the brewing instructions in their website, and surprise, they were a lot more detailed. So I prepared this tea following those instructions using 205F water, 4-5 min steep time and a gaiwan. As with my other TKY’s I re-brewed this 7 times.
The resulting brew gave me a clear bright green cup with a very nice floral aroma. The taste was a combination of subtle fruity and floral flavors with a refreshing floral aftertaste. The second cup remained mostly the same in terms of fragrance, but the taste became much more floral with a more pronounced “fresh” aftertaste, almost minty. In the third cup, it became less aromatic but retained most of its flavor and aftertaste qualities. Fourth cup, aroma is now very faint, taste remains consistent but the aftertaste is now gone. In the fifth cup, the tea began tasting slightly “green” with a slightly smooth texture. The sixth cup retained that hint of smoothness and was still slightly floral. The seventh cup was just a hint of the floral flavor with the green taste but still, I found it quite enjoyable.
The wet leaf was very well preserved, mostly small to medium sized leaves, few broken pieces, and no stems in about a teaspoon of tea that I used.
Overall, I enjoyed this tea a lot, it is everything Harney & Son’s describes it to be. It surprised me that it was able to make it up to the 7th cup and still deliver some flavor. This tea is perhaps the best TKY I’ve had in this price range. It is floral, has a great taste, very fragrant, and while not as complex as other high end Ti Kuan Yins, it at least adds a level of complexity to your drink that others simply do not have. At about $4 an ounce, this has to be the perfect everyday TKY.