There are teas so impressive you want to show them off to your friends. But in every tea pantry there’s a baggie of tea that you wouldn’t recommend to other people, but to keep for yourself for those times that all you want is a no-fuss brew and a hot cup at 11 o’ clock, to get yourself ready for lunch. This kind of tea is the latter.
This Tie Guan Yin was a gift from a friend who had worked in Shanghai. It came in a nice flattened cylinder / oval tin, with an image of a goddess/deity (3 guesses who that might be) over a blue green background.
Brewed Western style, thin layer of pellets just enough to cover the bottom of the gaiwan in a single thing layer. Quick rinse, 5s. (In hindsight maybe I shouldn’t have? But rinsing tea is becoming a habit for me now, what with paranoia over pesticides.) Let it sit in the warm gaiwan for half a minute. Then steeped a couple of minutes.
No remarkable smell (there was the Chinese green smell, but I was too lazy to liken it to something poetic. I thought I caught a faint whiff of brownies, or cocoa, but nothing as strong as what I’d get from my Taiwan oolongs). Tea liquid was a pale chartreuse. After the leaves unfurled, there were many whole leaves, but also a few broken pieces. I hate seeing tea bits (torn off leaf portions as large as baby nails). They make me think that it’s not a very good tea.
Taste is as bland as I expected.