Review: Wan Ling Tea House Tie Guan Yin – Heavy Oxidisation (2010)

Oolong Tea, Ti Kuan Yin Tea, Wan Ling Tea House Add comments
Vanessa’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The flavor of this tea is, by general tea standards, still rather light. Yet by oolong standards, it is a rich and flavorful multi-facted drink."
Vanessa’s Teaview: 8/10
Other Teaviews: CJ gave it 5/10
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This is my first experience with Wan Ling Tea House, but just a few minutes on their website tells me that these are some folks that really know their stuff. This company seems to be one that is perhaps better suited for the seasoned tea enthusiast instead of the tea newcomer. The heavily oxidized Spring 2010 harvest of Tie Guan Yin is described on their site as a tea that "has been expertly processed to produce a stunningly clear liquor; rich, comforting and smooth flavours which will age". In contrast to other less-oxidized tie guan yin leaves that are green in color, these heavily oxidized leaves are dark brown, almost black. The dried leaves are rather tightly folded, but open a bit during brewing. I used 190-degree water and a 3-minute brewing time. The resulting tea is a pale, translucent caramel-colored liquid.
The flavor of this tea is, by general tea standards, still rather light. Yet by oolong standards, it is a rich and flavorful multi-facted drink. The two main elements that my tastebuds pick up on are the toasty and burnt sugar flavors, although neither is necessarily strong or pungent. The tea is light-bodied and the overall feel is still mild. I enjoyed this tea both hot and at room temperature. It is an easy-drinking tea that is ideal for all-day drinking from a large pot. Even though it is summer in Miami, I found this tea refreshing because of its gentle and light-bodied nature.
The Wan Ling website suggests that buyers purchase enough to drink now as well as store and age for later use. They also mention the following: "Please note it is highly recommended that after 3 years this tea is baked or pan dried to allow the tea to continue ageing in optimal conditions" and "Storage should be in a partially air tight container, preferably made from Zi Sha or porcelain". I imagine that these very specific instructions can be intimidating to the average tea drinker that just wants to enjoy a decent cup of oolong. So I guess you can make as much or as little of a process with this tea as you want. At the very least, you can buy enough to enjoy in the present, as it is a sweet and delicious oxidized oolong.

— To purchase Wan Ling Tea House Tie Guan Yin – Heavy Oxidisation (2010), or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Vanessa Vanessa
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