drank Tieguanyin by UNYtea
1049 tasting notes

I was thinking about this last night, but it seems that I am always looking for new examples of Tieguanyin to try. It’s one of my favorite types of oolong, and since there are so many on the market (it seems that literally every vendor offers at least one or two every year), there is always a new Tieguanyin for me to try. This one originated in Xianghua Township, Fujian Province. It was harvested in the Spring of this year. I found it to be a likable TGY, maybe not the best I have had to this point, but likable nonetheless.

I almost always gongfu oolongs and that is what I did here. After a quick rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 205 F water for 10 seconds. This infusion was followed by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 12 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of lilac, violet, and sweetgrass coming from the dry leaves. After the rinse, I detected new aromas of saffron, cream, rose, and butter. The first infusion then brought out scents of custard and coriander. In no particular order, I found notes of sweetgrass, coriander, cream, and butter in the mouth. These notes were balanced by hints of flowers, and oddly enough, touches of ripe melon and pear. Subsequent infusions allowed the floral impressions to separate in the mouth, as I began to detect more distinct impressions of saffron, violet, rose, and lilac. Notes of honeysuckle also emerged. More distinct impressions of pear, cantaloupe, and honeydew appeared, while impressions of watercress, celery, green apple, and minerals also began to make themselves known. Though I found a scent of custard on the nose, I do not recall ever finding custard notes in the mouth. The later infusions were dominated by relatively strong notes of minerals, coriander, and watercress, though faint hints of butter and fruit were still detectable in the background.

I have not been drinking much jade Tieguanyin lately, but this one seemed more consistently mineral-laden and heavier on the vegetal notes than many others I recall trying. I kept hoping for just a little extra sweetness or savoriness, especially in the latter two-thirds of the session. Still, this was not a bad Tieguanyin and I am glad I took the opportunity to try it. I imagine it would please most fans of jade Tieguanyin.

Flavors: Butter, Cantaloupe, Celery, Coriander, Cream, Floral, Grass, Green Apple, Honeydew, Honeysuckle, Mineral, Pear, Rose, Saffron, Vegetal, Violet

205 °F / 96 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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