2022 Spring ZhengJian Tie Guan Yin from Anxi
The authentic Tie Guan Yin
Cultivar: Zheng Jian Tie Guan Yin 鐵觀音, aka Goddess of Mercy (the original cultivar)
Harvested by hand in spring 2022
Origin: Xi Ping, Anxi Region in the south of Fujian Province, China
Process: tightly rolled Oolong, medium slow roast
Competition brew: 3 grams for 6 minutes with boiling water
The dark green dry leaves are rather small and rarely contain a stem. The amber color brew is clear and bright. The leaves unfold well after the long brew. The open leaves have 2 characteristics of traditional Tie Guan Yin. A curved tail 歪尾 and an uneven surface that feels like frog skin.
2. The scents
The fragrances of this Zheng Jian Tie Guan Yin brew combine ripe fruit with orchid flowers. In the hot gaiwan or teapot, the dry leaves have incense scents!
3. The taste
The taste of Zheng Jian Tie Guan Yin is particularly full body. Thanks to a very structured balance of sweetness, some sourness and a light bitterness, the aftertaste of Tie Guan Yin is intense and unlike any other Oolong. That's a reason why this aftertaste is called Guan Yun, with the good meaning that one will receive a promotion!
Conclusion: Tie Guan Yin is a very popular type of Oolong in the Anxi region. It's so popular that farmers even use other cultivars called Sezhong (Benshan, Mao Xie, Huang Jing Gui for instance) to produce Tie Guan Yin! Also, in recent years, the oxidation and roasting level of most TGY has come down to the level of Taiwan high mountain Oolong. With this batch, we can taste and enjoy the original cultivar with a traditional process in terms of oxidation and process.
Brewing advice: Since the character of TGY is power, it's best to brew a larger amount of leaves than high mountain Oolong. They require a stronger pour to open up. Brew always with boiling water and a preheated gaiwan or teapot.
Pairing advice: TGY can replace a red Bordeaux wine. It is a good fit with goose or with fried tofu.