Special Edition Tie Guan Yin

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Oolong Tea
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8 Tasting Notes View all

From Life In Teacup

Production Year: 2010
Production Season: Spring
Production Region: Fujian Province
Style: Traditional charcoal roast with Tie Guan Yin and Mao Xie

More info: http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2010/05/concept-tea-1-special-edition-tie-guan.html

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8 Tasting Notes

6770 tasting notes


I know I have had this one before because the bag was opened and half gone…must have forgotten to log Oooooops!

Anyhow…this one is VERY forgiving! I over infused by several minutes and it’s still YUMMY! It’s almost ‘crust’ tasting like toast. It has a sweeter finish. I think this is a nice tea!

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863 tasting notes

I’ve never really done gong fu style steeping before (isn’t that what you’d call multiple short steepings? Correct me if I’m wrong!) but I had this packet left over in my sample collection and really wanted an oolong today, so I gave it a shot. I only managed 3 6 oz. infusions (used the whole 7 gram packet) but it was my inaugural attempt at this, so I’ve got to practice before my body can accept that much liquid that fast!

*Followed Gingko’s directions on the pre-rinse and steeping suggestions.

1st infusion: 30 sec. steep. Very vegetal, buttery green. I got notes of spinach in it, which I like. Liquor a yellow brown, reminiscent of a green tea. Texture was thick to me (in a good way), but I expected that because this is a lot higher leaf to water ratio than I traditionally use. No real ‘roasted’ notes this go around.

2nd infusion: 30 sec. Color is still a yellow brown; scent is buttery vegetal; this doesn’t appear much different than the first infusion, so far. Flavor is much lighter on the “green”; seems more buttery, less spinachy. There’s a roasty note now – genmaicha-esque. (It tasted kind of nutty and rice-ish.) The roasted note is also more prominent in the smell now.

3rd infusion: 30 sec. Much lighter yellow color, the taste has faded too – less buttery, but still a vegetal green flavor. The roasted taste and smell are gone again. I like stronger flavors so I think this is as weak as I’ll go – I could definitely see how on further infusions a longer steep time would be required.

I waited to try the gong fu method largely because I didn’t trust my ability to discern the taste changes between steepings. Maybe this was just an easy one to figure out, or maybe I’ve gotten better, but I found the whole process really fun! I liked how the toastiness was so fickle in this – it was like drinking two different types of tea.

I would guess this is more of a green oolong, though I have had little to no experience with oolongs to really know for sure. I suppose that oolongs will be my next area of tea education….

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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4847 tasting notes

I love Oolong – and this is so good. Roasty, but not overwhelmingly so. Pleasant nutty sweetness with a faint note of bitter. Delicious! YUM!

I just got finished writing my full-length review of this tea which should publish on March 11 (if not sooner!) on the SororiTea Sisters blog.

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207 tasting notes

For starters, I habitually, but unintentionally, brew this style of TGY too strong. I think it’s probably because I don’t drink this type of tea too much and hold it up to my practices with puerh and wuyi. As a result, the first few steeps are always a good bit too sour.

I read Gingko’s thoughts (http://gingkobay.blogspot.com/2010/05/concept-tea-1-special-edition-tie-guan.html) about this as a concept tea as a blend of tie guan yin and mao xie. I don’t think I have enough experience with the varietals to really understand the effect, but I do find this an enjoyable example of charcoal roasted ball-style oolong.

Lately, I’ve been focusing more and more on a tea’s texture, returning flavor, and feeling, as opposed to just flavor and aroma. I think great teas beat out many good teas by combining all of the elements in an emergent and transcendent way. This one doesn’t quite get there, as I think the aroma is pretty soft and the texture a little thin. Perhaps I haven’t noticed the internal energy of previous oolongs, but this one has a nice, soft, deep wave to it, with a considerable amount of warmth, which is helping me sweat on this first 80F+ day of summer. It also has a long, long pleasant returning herbal ginger taste that rings for an hour afterward.


Sounds very interesting. I’ve had some really nice Mao Xie green oolong, which had a unique fruity taste that several of us finally settled on calling “pineapple-ish”, but have not seen those leaves in a traditional roast style. Sounds delicous, and while you’re calling this one a bit soft and thin, I bet I’d find the mellowness perfectly calibrated to my taste.

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264 tasting notes

It has been a while since I have had my scent up and running for tea reviewing. For this reason, I have been sticking to teas that I have previously drank and have plenty of (mainly lapsang souchong and various oolongs).

It is now time for an official cuppa this. Not in my traditional style though, as I started the tea experience last night with these leaves, and I am now on to my third steep.
Dry: Like sweet earthy wheat. Chestnuts pop into mind as well. Yummmm. Small little balls the color of 60%-70% cocoa chocolate. Aka.. not really milky chocolate color, but a bit.
Liquor: initial 2 steeps (30s): From what I remember (I will obviously do a better review next time), there is a nicely roasted/toasty flavour with a pleasingly sweet aftertaste. I would like to say it would match the sweetness of almost ripe bananas. Not overly sweet – but you still get a little drying effect. It does not taste like bananas, just the mechanism of sweetness is similar. Right down to the slight drying.
3rd steep (1 min): Still nicely toasted. Reminds me of sweet bread that has been browned. Maybe some brown sugar sprinkled on the top and a light spread of butter. I get sweet flashes at the back of my throat and tongue. It is not buttery as I would associate with a milk oolong, but it has a creamy aftertaste that reminds me of it. The tea is definitely drying..But not so much that I am grabbing for water. Maybe I will play with the steeping parameters more. None the less, great cup of tea to come back to =)

205 °F / 96 °C

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123 tasting notes

This is a wonderful roasted oolong, or blended oolong I should say. It has a hint of sweetness at the end, almost like grapejuice. Very enjoyable and I’m looking forward to the extra steeps.

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16 tasting notes

I enjoyed this one, It’s a light (in color) sweet oolong with a slight roasty/savory flavor that adds a bit of complexity. Also, it’s fairly affordable when compared to similar teas.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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