Deep rich Tieguanyin with a balance of floral notes and creamy saffron rice pudding flavor, and an intense tingling sweet aftertaste of honeysuckle and spearmint. . . .
Last spring our friends in Anxi sent us a Tieguanyin that quickly became legendary. It was the first spring Tieguanyin that we had tasted exhibiting both the classic floral sweetness of spring and the buttery textures of autumn. This year they have outdone themselves.
The leaves, air shipped to us just days after picking, have an incredible aroma, like sweet cream, saffron, vanilla orchid and flaky pastry. The first steeping is a quiet introduction with juicy textures and a distinct goji berry flavor that is both dark and refined as well as tart and sweet. It is the aftertaste that truly begins to leave an impression. First, there is an intense tingling on the tongue, followed by spearmint sweetness and a subdued honeysuckle floral quality.
Later steepings allow the leaves to unfold and begin to truly infuse the full-bodied texture of this Tieguanyin. The closest flavor analogy is Indian rice pudding with saffron and almond slivers, followed by an aftertaste of vaporous vanilla and orchid notes teasing the palate.
The creamy notes act as a foundation for a growing juiciness that is closest to biting into fresh mango, and a comforting green quality much like fresh parsley tempered by a rosewater sweetness. The aftertaste continues to build until it seems that the back of the throat has been coated with warm milk and honey.
The complexity of this fresh spring harvest Tieguanyin stands up to the rich flavors of our autumn harvest, and the sweet floral notes of our last spring harvest. Indeed, we must admit that this may be our most exquisite Tieguanyin yet. We sometimes wonder why the farmers part with something so precious, but hope that you will join us in appreciating the new crop.
ICED: The perfumed florals are extra vivd and potent. Mouthfeel is silky, and gets more buttery in the aftertaste with a note of green grape.
Date of Picking:Early Spring 2012 Harvest
Location of Picking:Anxi County, Fujian, China
What Was Picked:Large, thick spring leaves, shaken to bruise the edges and partly oxidized.
Sourcing Agent(s):Weiwei found this tea through an introduction to Tieguanyin from her father, who has devoted his life to finding the best, most complex tieguanyin in the world.
Brewing Hand Picked Spring Tieguanyin
Use 2 tsp of tea per 8oz or water. Rinse leaves once with 208 degree water. Steep for 1 minute. Enjoy at least 5 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. If you can’t, don’t worry about it- good oolong is super forgiving! We recommend doing small 8-10 oz infusions and resteeping the leaves multiple times to see how the flavors change.
Gongfu Style Brewing (Recommended Brewing Technique)
Use 5g of tea for a 4-5oz gaiwan or yixing clay teapot. 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.
The Story of Tieguanyin
"Imagine being the old farmer and tasting something so different for the first time, realizing the value of Guanyin's gift...Wang Huiming Style Gaiwan Brewing
"Wang Huiming brews tea with the ultimate goal of treating everyone with respect, keeping them happy, and engaging them with the smells and tastes of the tea...Wang Huiming Taste Training
"When David and Wang Huiming discovered that they had the same taste in oolong, she offered to train him formally in tasting tea. What followed was a long journey to distinguish the finest Tieguanyin in the world by picking date, time, weather, and even altitude based on taste alone...