Competition Grade 3rd Place Muzha Tie Guan Yin Roasted Oolong Tea - Winter 2016Taiwan Sourcing
The history of Muzha Tie Guan Yin began in 1919, the year that the Chang Family brought the Tie Guan Yin varietal to Taiwan to cultivate. In other words, Tie Guan Yin has a relatively long history among Taiwanese teas, and today the offspring of the original Chang Family is still making the most authentic and classical Tie Guan Yin for the pickiest tea drinker.
Classical Tie Guan Yin is made from 100% Hong Xin Wai Wei Tao Varietal "紅心歪尾桃" and has to be processed in a certain way which involves numerous stages of rolling and delicate roasting that will take approximately 20 hours across 2 days to complete the process. The result is a beautiful balance of a strong "Guan Yin Rhythm" and the light fruit acid scent which can only be found in Muzha Tie Guan Yin.
We were not able to obtain the very best Muzha Tie Guan for this season, but fortunately we still got a great quality Muzha Tie Guan Yin like this one. The overall taste is definitely not as powerful as our previously offered "Muzha Tie Guan Yin King," but it has the very constant character like it, and it also has the pleasant "fruit" aroma that people love from a Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea, which means this will be your perfect roasted companion for the cold winter.
Harvest: Winter 2016 / 冬 貳零壹陸
Varietal: Hong Xin Wai Wei Tao (Tie Guan Yin) / 紅心歪尾桃
Elevation: 550 M / 伍佰伍拾 公尺
Region: Muzha / 木柵
Oxidation Level: 47% / 分之 肆拾柒
Roast Level: 6 / 陸 分
Thick voluminous mouth-feel that fills the mouth with many tastes. Dried fruit, flower aroma and Tie Guan Yin taste as well. The perfect processing really allows the TGY character to reveal itself in it's full splendor. Small leaves and uniform coloring as well. This made a deep impression on me and I am a very seasoned tea drinker!
I used 8 grams in my 130ml teapot. The dry leaf aroma in the heated vessel was very scrumptious and sweet roasted. It was so comforting on this rainy northern California afternoon. The wet leaf aroma after the first steep was tangy and floral balanced with a well baked quality. I made the first 3 rounds using short steeps between 15 and 30 seconds. Then brewed the next 4 rounds with steep times from 1min to 5mins or so. Those early rounds really showcased the quality of the roast which I found to be balanced and full bodied. The roast tapers off and gives way to the lovely vegetal-tang TGY quality we all love. By the end I found myself quite satisfied and appreciative of this very tasty 3rd place tea.
Even though this tea does not carry an refined "raisin" character like the "King" version of it, this is still an Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin an old dog would love to share with tea lover who loves oolong. Its patient roasting and clean environment of plantation make this tea delightful in an non-challenging experience for anyone's palate. The coating is still very soft but warm to an old dog's sensitive tongue, and an old dog felt truly relaxed after sipping every drop of it. This is not the best Tie Guan Yin an old dog ever had, but still worth every second when being with it!