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

Oolong Tea, Wan Ling Tea House Add comments
CJ’s Teaview Snapshot
Its OK"Deserves respect, but the flavor falls short of satisfying."
CJ’s Teaview: 5/10
Other Teaviews: Vanessa gave it 8/10
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Here is a tea that is not in a hurry.  The older it gets, the better it gets-- at least according to the Wan Ling website.  The concepts of "slowness" and " improving with age" really appeal to me as I hover around my 49th birthday.  Tasting these two-year-old leaves was a birthday present to my...evolving self.

The smell in the package was spicy, minty,  and rather unlike the other oolong's I've been involved with.  And I do mean involved.  Oolongs, especially heavily oxidised ones, demand a lot of attention before they release their charms.  Ideally, I should have brewed this using a clay pot and a separate "tea holder" designed to  filter the tea into tiny cups.  All of these supplies have been on my tea wish list.  My real-world brewing supplies for this review included a 10 ounce cast-iron pot, not-quite boiling water (about 203 degrees) and a teaspoon and a pinch of the twisted, misshapen leaves.

I brewed it for 2.5 minutes  and ended up with a tea that changed my perception of "aged," from something musty, dark, and interesting, to something not so interesting. The liquid smelled like Jasmine, but tasted  malty and like toasted rice (genmaicha).  It was a pleasant flavor, no doubt, but   I like strong tea, so I added a few more leaves to the second batch.

More leaves produced a maltier taste, but anything floral was gone.  The maltiness seemed heavy to me, and rather upset my stomach.   I liked the lighter brew better, though it was still too delicate to be satisfying for me.  I am reluctant to say I didn't like such a fine, famous tea, but I just didn't.  Perhaps when it gets a little older.  For now, I rate it a 5.

— 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.

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