Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Norbu Tea
This is our “Diamond Grade” Fall Harvest 2011 Tie Guan Yin from Anxi County’s Gande Town. Upon opening the package, the intense floral aroma of this tea is almost overwhelming. The dry leaves are dark green and are fairly tightly rolled into the characteristic ball shape of Anxi Oolong.
Learn more about this tea here.
I do love a good Oolong, and while Ali Shan tends to be my favorite, Tie Guan Yin Oolong teas are right up there. I love their floral notes and that sweet, buttery flavor.
And this is one mighty fine Tie Guan Yin!
As the above description suggests, the floral aroma is incredibly powerful. The floral fragrance translates to the brewed tea – and it completes the experience to deeply inhale the scent of the tea prior to taking a sip. It smells so good that I found myself smelling the cup for hints of that beautiful bouquet after the tea had been consumed!
Deliciously floral, I taste the sweet notes of honeysuckle and orchid, but without that sharp tone that sometimes accompanies a floral note. The texture is silky and smooth, reminiscent of melted butter. There is also a buttery flavor to the tea, which further accentuates the texture, giving this an almost buttered-popcorn kind of taste.
There are hints of vegetal tones to this tea as well, they start out very subtle and as I continue to sip I find these flavors develop. With subsequent infusions (I managed six full-flavored infusions from one measurement of leaves, and with the seventh and eighth infusions, the flavor was lighter, but still very delightful) I noticed that the floral tones began to really emerge, and the flavors become even smoother. My favorite infusions were the third and fourth – the combination of these two infusions made for a very rich, flavorful, broth-y kind of tea with gorgeous floral high notes.
Since my first encounters with Norbu Tea several years ago, I have come to associate this company with nothing but the very best in Oolong teas. If you’re an Oolong enthusiast, you really should be shopping with Norbu!