Here we have another tie guan yin by Grand Tea. These always interest me a great deal, as they have the potential to be so wonderful, and yet many companies' offerings of this style of oolong fall flat. As I open the package, I notice that this tie guan yin has a much more roasted aroma than the one that I previously tried from Grand Tea (the Monkey Picked Anxi Oolong). In fact, they are almost entirely opposite. That one was far more floral in aroma, and this one, initially, is more dark and roasted. At least so far as the dry leaves are concerned.
I preheat my gaiwan and my teacup, add some of the tea to the gaiwan, and give it a quick rinse. As I pour the water to begin the first steeping of thirty seconds, already I can smell the dark roasted aromas. If I take a deep breath, I can just barely detect an edge of grassy scents and a touch of floral notes. Steeping number one smells much the same, albeit watery and half-hearted. The liquor is bright and a transparent pale yellow. Tasting it, I find that it tastes much as it smells, which is to be expected for the first steeping. It feels incredibly light on the tongue. Steeping number two follows quickly after the first, using the same amount of time. This round, the aroma and the flavor have become darker, picking up more of the roasted flavor. This makes the tea seem richer, in a sense. Mmm, this third steeping (same time used), is full of rich, oolong goodness. It makes me want to sit back and savor this single cup for a long while. However, I know that this tea has more to give! The next two steepings continue this same trend, only changing in making the flavor more rich and intense. This is one of the best roasted oolongs I have had in some time. I certainly enjoyed trying it! On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate it an 85/100.
Grand Tea's Traditional Tikuanyin is no longer available.
This review was unsolicited and uncompensated.
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