A unique and tangy batch of Gande Tieguanyin with notes of apricot and key lime pie
Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Purchase: Verdant Tea
Suggested Brewing Tips:
Whenever possible, use filtered water or spring water, freshly boiled.
Western Brewing - Use 1T of tea in a 6-8oz cup. Rinse leaves once with 208 degree water. Steep for 25 seconds the first infusion, and 20 seconds for each infusion after that. Increase time after about four infusions to taste. Enjoy at least 6 infusions. If possible, use filtered water. Lighter oolongs can be sensitive to very hard tap water. Try to use a large brew basket or steep the leaves loose to allow them to fully unfurls and infuse the optimum flavor.
Gongfu Style Brewing - Use 5-7g of tea for a 4-5oz gaiwan. Pour boiling water into pot and immediately pour out into pitcher. Pour this rinse over the pot and cups used. The rinse helps open the leaves up slightly for the first infusion. Steep for 3-6 seconds each infusion, and enjoy at least 18 infusions. Increase time as the tea starts to get lighter. If you don’t have special equipment, just use pyrex cup measure, a small mug, or any vessel around 4oz. Pour through a strainer if you have one, or use a fork to stop the leaves from pouring into your cup.
I purchased the 5 for $5 sampler in late spring and this was the first one I decided to try. I have recently fallen in love with Tieguanyin and Verdant's Autumn harvest immediately struck me with how different it was from the Spring harvest Tieguanyin teas that normally drink. I find that the spring harvest is more subtly sweet and the floral notes are more apparent whereas the reverse is true of the Autumn Harvest.
The first steep of this tea is by far the sweetest and least floral. I actually think that it may be my favorite, which is unusual for me, I normally prefer the second or third steep most with Tieguanyin. It could just be my sweet tooth talking since I am a sucker for anything sweet.
On the second steep I notice the floral notes more than the sweetness. Verdant calls this a note of apricot, but I'm not sure I agree, although I do find the sweetness to be fruity and perhaps peach-like.
The third steep is where I really started to notice the tangy taste that makes the Autumn harvest stand apart from the Spring harvest. It is still pretty subtle, but that changes with the fourth steep where it is the first thing that I notice.
The fifth and sixth steeps loose some of the tangy taste and the sweetness returns, although it is not as apparent as with earlier steeps. These last two steeps take on a very creamy feeling that isn't noticeable in earlier steeps.
One thing I love about Tieguanyin is the level of complexity apparent in the tea and how much the teas vary so much not just from region to region, but farm to farm within each region. This is a tea that will never leave you bored and the taste stays with you long after you have finished your cup. If you haven't had the chance to try Tieguanyin yet then this is a great one to start with, you may just fall in love too.
My Rating: 89/100
Would I order this again? Yes. In fact I recently reordered a small amount because Verdant currently has this tea on clearance.