Monday, October 04, 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!


Nicolas said...

Cha Xi magnifique. Un oeuvre d'art. Les mots ne sont pas nécessaires et franchement, je serais incapable de traduire la beauté de tes photos.

Merci de ce mélange de poésie et de musique classique.

TeaMasters said...

Merci pour ton compliment, Nicolas. J'écoutais du guqin durant ma dégustation...
Un vrai plaisir polysensoriel pour cette première journée fraiche de l'automne!

Nicolas said...

L'écoute du Guqin est inconnue à mes oreilles. Elles apprécient du Shakuhachi, flûte japonnaise.

Si tu as quelque références de CD, pourrais-tu me les faires parvenir par mail?


Sir William of the Leaf said...

This would be a kind of tea I would love to try in ten or fifteen years.
I am thinking of doing some of my own roasting and aging of teas once I conjure up the money for a few items!

Karen said...

So autumnal!

Anonymous said...

The color is gorgeous! I wish I were drinking a cup of this Tieguanyin. All I have at the moment is a tin of Black Dragon (Tao of Tea).


TeaMasters said...

From an e-mail: "First of all you must have send the package in a rocket because it's arrived SO fast :)
I'm not (only)trying to be funny, all the orders I have made from China they always needed 3-6 weeks.

I phoned my friend at once after receiving you package but I couldn't wait and opened it.
Thank you very very very much for the samples, you are amazing!

We only tried roasted Tien Guan Yin.
I can't be calm about it. It was just the tea I could drink forever.
Let me be a bit more specific.

I used all ~5-6gr in one porcelain cup about 250ml(warmed up)
I poured almost boiling water(crab eyes or ~95C, I have a thermometer) a bit vigorously, though I don't know if it's ok for roasted oolongs.
I put a small plate on the top for lid.

The fragrance was like licorice, a hint of vanilla, cognac maybe, a note of dark caramel. A sweet almost malty and complete fragrance.
Then I tasted it. From the moment I put tea in my mouth I smiled, like I was happy. God, I though, I can't believe Stephane's tea is so good,
I can't believe it. The taste was smooth, round,sweet, a bit roasty but no smoke, no charcoal, no nothing!

But what amazed me the most was when I swallowed the tea, the aftertaste was a first time for me with tea.
I had read about the yun from your blog but I couldn't believe a tea could have such a long and amazing aftertaste.
Sorry for being a bit..."noisy" on the things I write but I am so excited :)

That was the day before yesterday, we must have infused the tea too many times(at the end the water didn't almost change color!!!),
but for two days we only drank the first sample.
Today we will try the red tea. If it is in any way close to the roasted tie guan yin I will get totally crazy with your teas Stephane."