Today's Oolongs mostly emphasize freshness and little or no roasting at
all. This one, on the other hand, gives a rare glimpse at a fully
roasted Oolong! If you are still confused about the difference between
oxidation, fermentation and roasting, try a fresh Tie Guan
Yin ad this tea!
The brew turns brown instead of red (oxidation) or black (fermentation). The roast scents are linked to fire and the transformation caused by dry heat. They come from a Maillard reaction that also happens to toasted bread, marshmallows over fire...
There's a lot of innovation in the tea industry to satisfy the changing desires of tea drinkers. New cultivars get introduced in new regions: my Tie Guan Yin from Alishan, for instance. Or the same cultivar is done in a different way: for the first time, I tried a red Tie Guan Yin just last week! (That one wasn't very good).
This High Roast Tie Guan Yin, however, follows none of these trends or fashions. It still smells and tastes pretty much like 10 years ago, when I first had some. This also makes it a perfect tea for the traditional Christmas season!
I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.