This is yet another review from either July or August of 2019. It’s also probably going to be the last review I post today. I recall this tea being just a little past its prime when I got around to reviewing it, but it was still a very nice offering.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After rinsing 6 grams of the rolled tea leaves, I steeped them in 4 ounces of 195 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was followed by 18 additional infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and 20 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, the dry tea leaves produced aromas of apricot, peach, orchid, orange blossom, golden raisin, straw, and honey. After the rinse, I picked up new aromas of roasted almond, cream, vanilla, pastry, sesame, and custard. The first infusion introduced aromas of plum, violet, rose, lilac, and baked bread. In the mouth, the tea liquor presented notes of apricot, peach, rose, orchid, honey, roasted almond, plum, vanilla, and orange blossom that were balanced by hints of lilac, baked bread, cream, straw, golden raisin, violet, butter, and tangerine. The subsequent infusions coaxed out aromas of tangerine, dandelion, grass, and orange zest. Stronger and more immediately detectable notes of tangerine, cream, baked bread, violet, and butter appeared in the mouth alongside impressions of minerals, Asian pear, white grape, orange zest, grass, watercress, and dandelion. There were also some pleasant hints of sesame, mint, pastry, and custard. As the tea faded, the liquor settled and emphasized notes of minerals, butter, cream, grass, baked bread, and orange zest that gave way to delicate impressions of vanilla, violet, apricot, dandelion, sesame, honey, peach, tangerine, and orchid before a cooling mint note kicked in and filled the mouth after each swallow.

This was a very unique and approachable Tieguanyin that also displayed tremendous depth and complexity. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what I was detecting with each sniff and swallow. I can only imagine how much more powerful and enjoyable this tea would have been had I tried it while it was fresher.

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Bread, Citrus, Cream, Custard, Dandelion, Floral, Grass, Honey, Mineral, Mint, Orange Blossom, Orange Zest, Orchid, Pastries, Peach, Pear, Plum, Raisins, Rose, Straw, Vanilla, Vegetal, Violet, White Grapes

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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