Review: Wan Ling Tea House Bai Mu Dan Guan Yin (Autumn 2011)

Oolong Tea, Wan Ling Tea House Add comments
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In the package these leaves smelled like a flowery pu-er.  The nose was robust and earthy, with a sweet, equally strong aroma of lilacs. So far, very good.

I brewed it up with much anticipation, dousing a heaping tablespoon of the dark, rumpled, leaves in 10 ounces of almost boiling water, (roughly 208 degrees, is what the instructions on Wan Lings'swebsite prescribed.)  Once wet, the leaves turned the color of steamed spinach, and the lilac smell intensified.

Wan Ling (WL) recommends brewing your first pot for only 30 seconds.  I went a bit longer since I like a strong tea.  Even after a full minute, the taste was a bit weak for me, so I waited...

The result of my patience was a cup of bliss.  It contained three distinct characteristics:  vegetal, floral, and malty.  None overpowered the other, so I had a great deal of fun savoring this tea.  Though my go-to preference is an easy, boiling-water-and-teabag black tea, I often chastise myself for not taking the time and effort to enjoy the pale, but mighty and complex teas known as Tie-Guan-Yin, (sometimes written as Ti-Kuan-Yin.)

The website for WL claims that Tie Guan Yin tea "relaxes and whisks you away from the pace of modern life."  Not a lot of non-alcoholic beverages can claim that.  But the flavor of this oolong was startlingly good--good enough to snap my attention from finding a movie to watch on Netflix to focus on my tastebuds.

Wan Ling is the name of a woman who happens to be the founder of her eponymous tea business.  She divides her time between the South of England, and her native Fujian.  When home, she and her sister (who also owns a tea business)  tromp through the mountains of  Anxi, sourcing oolong teas to bring to us.  Good work, ladies.  I rate this tea a 9.5.



— To purchase Wan Ling Tea House Bai Mu Dan Guan Yin (Autumn 2011), 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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