I just had to squeeze in another sample sipdown before the month officially ended. I had been wanting to find the time to try this tea for at least 2 weeks. I finally got around to it today. I’m glad I ended up doing this because this was a great tea with which to end the month.
I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a quick rinse, I steeped 5 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 208 F water for 6 seconds. This infusion was chased by 13 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 9 seconds, 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, and 3 minutes.
Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of violet, honeysuckle, lilac, and hyacinth. The rinse brought out aromas of sweetgrass, cream, vanilla, and butter. The first infusion brought the floral and savory aspects of the tea’s bouquet together while also offering hints of orchid and saffron. In the mouth, I mostly picked up traces of butter, cream, vanilla, and sweetgrass balanced by flowers. Subsequent infusions brought out the floral notes before quickly tailing off to emphasize emerging honey, leaf lettuce, parsley, and mineral impressions. A hint of cantaloupe emerged fairly late in the session. The later infusions were heavy on minerals, grass, lettuce, and parsley. Cream, butter, honey, and cantaloupe lingered in the background.
The tea’s lovely floral tones faded fast, but it brilliantly maintained its savory and vegetal aspects. The soft mineral aromas and flavors and smooth, consistent body also showed off the quality of the terroir from which this tea originated. This was another high quality Tieguanyin. When Master Zhang hits the mark for me, he really hits it hard.
Flavors: Butter, Cantaloupe, Cream, Floral, Grass, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lettuce, Mineral, Orchid, Parsley, Saffron, Vanilla, Violet