I bought this tea during my big Tie Guan Yin restocking this spring. The price, $6 for 50 g, gave me pause, but it’s Yunnan Sourcing, so how bad could it be? I also recalled reading a review that praised a previous harvest, so into my cart it went. I steeped 6 g of tea in a 120 ml teapot at 190F for 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 60, 90, and 120 seconds.

In the teapot, the dry aroma is kind of like sweaty socks. More charitably, I can detect funky zucchini, citrus, grass, and orchids. The first steep has notes of grass, citrus, slightly off zucchini, stewed tomatoes, tomato vine, and pungent orchids. The best part of this steep by far is the aftertaste, which is long and peachy, though that squashy funk also makes a reappearance. The next few steeps are similar, gaining more vegetal, herbaceous, grassy, and floral flavours. Thankfully, the squash sort of dissipates by steep five or so, but finishing the session was a struggle.

I tried this tea Western (3 g, 355 ml, 2.5/4/6 minutes) and it just shortened the misery.

This is a very grassy Tie Guan Yin featuring a rather unfortunate combination of citrus and zucchini. I have around 35 g left and honestly, the thought of finishing the bag depresses me. YS has excellent premium and imperial TGYs, and I’m not sure if this harvest is an anomaly. However, based on this tasting, there are much better budget Tie Guan Yins out there.

Flavors: Citrus, Floral, Freshly Cut Grass, Herbaceous, Orchid, Sweat, Vegetal, Zucchini

190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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Since I discovered Teavana’s Monkey Picked Oolong four years ago, I’ve been fascinated by loose-leaf tea. I’m glad to say that my oolong tastes have evolved, and that I now like nearly every tea that comes from Taiwan, oolong or not, particularly the bug-bitten varieties. I also find myself drinking Yunnan blacks and Darjeelings from time to time, as well as a few other curiosities.

However, while online reviews might make me feel like an expert, I know that I still have some work to do to actually pick up those flavours myself. I hope that by making me describe what I’m tasting, Steepster can improve my appreciation of teas I already enjoy and make me more open to new possibilities (maybe even puerh!).



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