drank Ti Kuan Yin by Empire Tea Services
1719 tasting notes

A semi oxidized Chinese tea rolled using a traditional method. Another sample given to me at the shop. I was told this is their most popular oolong. The dry leaf has a faint vegetive sweetness and is rolled pretty tight. The liquor is very light green, almost clear. The brewed leaf is large generally complete pieces. Poured into the cup I can see the bottom. I am so used to bagged tea, which turns the cup black immediately, that this is still freaking me out. The brew has only a slight scent. First sip is very light and semi sweet. It doesn’t taste grassy yet reminds me of a sencha. There is a kind of fruity taste, that I recognize but can’t put my finger on, lingering after the sip. The oolongs I normally drink are dark and earthy. This is very light and airy. I was in a hurry for tea this morning and did not let the water cool so there is a small amount of bitterness that is entirely my fault. Further showing my novice approach I shamefully added sweetener. The tea reprimanded me most severely until I promised never to do it again. This tea will do multiple steeps.

I am not going to assign a rating to this for a few reasons. First, it is so unlike anything I normally drink I don’t have a reference point to compare. Second, I didn’t follow proper steeping protocol and further desecrated the cup by adding sweetener. My gut tells me the quality of this product is very high but my taste buds won’t commit. Maybe they are still upset for being reprimanded? I will say this makes me want to try one of their oolongs on the black end of the oxidized scale or this tea with maybe lemon grass. Yeah, I could see me giving that a 95.

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