Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin (2012)
“A unique and tangy batch of Gande Tieguanyin with notes of apricot and key lime pie…”
The most sought after flavor profiles in Tieguanyin tend to be creamy and floral, but on our last trip to China, our Tieguanyin expert Wang Huimin was lamenting the rarity of tangy Tieguanyin. When she was younger, more farmers were working to coax a potent tangy edge from their leaves. We asked Wang Huimin if she could find an example we could share before the floral spring harvest comes in and she was ecstatic.
This Gande village (Anxi) Tieguanyin has a rich, tangy smell like fresh-baked apricot bread. The first steepings have some of the spicy citrus notes of heicha (dark tea), complimented by creamy undertones. The initial burst of citrus leaves a sweet and cool aftertaste.
The tea really picks up in the second and third infusions with a thicker body, tangier orange notes, and a candy-like sweetness similar to key lime pie with graham cracker crust and whipped cream. In later steepings, a darker woody or nutty flavor begins to come through with fruity apple notes.
This is a departure from our usual saffron-cream orchid profile Tieguanyin from the Bi family, meant as an intriguing counterpoint to demonstrate the diversity of flavor even within a single Tieguanyin-producing village. Take the opportunity to try something different before the late spring and early summer bring back the rich florals for which Tieguanyin is so well-known.