Monday, October 4, 2010

Spring 2008 High roast Tie Guan Yin

For the background of this Cha Xi, I'm using a black and gold sarong. This fabric, wrapped around the waist, is mandatory if one wants to visit a temple on Bali. Here, the sarong becomes the temple as we prepare to meet the Iron Goddess Guan Yin.

Cultivar: Tie Guan Yin

Origin: Yao Yang, Shi Ping, Anxi, Fujian, China

Harvested by hand in spring 2008

Process: ball shaped Oolong, roasted several times in Taiwan by master Wang in an electrical oven.

Brewed with boiling water in an ivory white porcelain gaiwan and poured in ivory white 'tulip' cups.

The dark brown dry leaves are rather small. Their surface isn't shiny (as is the case with many over roasted Oolongs). The fragrances are heavy and sweetly intoxicating. Good Italian coffee, black chocolate, fudge and nuts appear under the nose. All this bouquet is without a trace of fire, roast or rubber smells. It's completely natural ; there are no off flavors. This smooth and natural feeling is improved by a short storage in my old Yixing jar.

The brew is clear and shiny. The golden brown color looks warm and appetizing!
The leaves are unfolding a little bit. They have kept a little bit of elasticity, but here we are as close as we can be to over roasted Oolong. What is amazing is that the tea has no fire or charcoal smell (only the wet leaves).

The fragrances of the tea feel even darker and fruitier than those of the dry leaves. The first brews are the more powerful. There is something for coffee lovers in these leaves...

The taste is very sweet and full body. Except if you're using too many leaves, it's difficult to overbrew this tea. A long infusion would just add to the body and lingering feeling without releasing hardly any astringency or bitterness. The whole body experiences a warm and relaxed feeling.

This is a wonderful tea for a cold day. Several former coffee drinkers have used the 2005 batch to switch to tea. Thanks to his skillful roasting, Master Wang has recreated a very similar high roast Tie Guan Yin. The tea has had over 2 years to rest after the roasting. This is also why it has become so smooth and sweet...

Enjoy this dark Iron Goddess!

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