Five Year Aged Tieguanyin
We first studied Tieguanyin under Wang Huimin, a lifelong lover of oolong who grew up as her farmer friends were all switching from roasted Tieguanyin to the newer greener tieguanyin. Wang Huimin remembers that this switch was made with great deliberation as more and more farmers realized how much natural flavor their tea had without extra processing The creamy floral notes were celebrated as the natural reflection of the soil in Anxi.
This Five Year Aged Tieguanyin is an exciting and unique offering in that it manages to preserve the entire spring flower and fresh grass essence of the original leaf, all while tempering the flavor with darker, more grounded notes. Most aged Tieguanyin is pan fired again and again to bring out dark caramel notes. This is not a dark roasted tea in any sense.
The aroma of the dry leaf hints at both licorice root and ginseng, with potent wheatgrass notes that evoke early summer. The wet leaf takes on a potent and tangy quality, like ruby port wine.
The port wine notes are a perfect prelude to the dark lotus florals, and the muscovado brown sugar sweetness. It is miraculous to see the florals preserved so wonderfully throughout aging and tipped towards the more quiet and grounded side of the flavor spectrum. In later steepings, creamy texture builds in the body and a rounded lychee fruit profile dominates and shifts towards an intense juiciness. The aftertaste lingers with peppery notes of Tuscan olive oil and slightly bready malt qualities, asserting the complexity that age has brought to this tea.