Saturday, November 5, 2011

DeRen Tea: Tie Guan Yin (Traditional Style)

So, having been browsing through a bunch of tea-related blogs during the past few weeks, I kept hearing about Tie Guan Yin, so when I was ordering my sample from DeRen Tea, I decided to try it out.

DeRen Tea actually offers two different flavors, the "Traditional Style" and a "Green" versions. I opted for the traditional version, seeing as it looked like it would be a darker tea.

Dry Tie Guan Yin leaves, taken with an iPod camera.
While the quality of this picture is rather bad (due to a small camera and overly bright lighting), it should be easy to see that the tea is a rather dark color, and is twisted/rolled into rather small shapes. The dry leaves also have a subtle fruity aroma, though I can't pinpoint what exactly it smells like. There was also a hint of something nutty, but that was even fainter than the fruit, and thus completely unrecognizable.

First infusion, in a badly stained and well-used mug.
The first infusion of the tea was also an interesting experience. Unlike the Wuyi oolongs that I have tried, there was no roasted taste. It was also interesting to find that the fruity aroma disappeared during the brewing process, leaving only the nutty flavor which lingered as a pleasant after taste. The main flavor that is initially present was something sweet, but not something that was even remotely similar to fruit.

As I continued with later infusions, the taste rapidly degenerated, and was reduced to a primarily nutty taste.The other flavors of the tea mellow out into a sweet...something, which was rather pleasant. As an added bonus, it was good for seven infusions, which is respectable. All in all, this is a tea that I look forward to buying in larger quantities sometime down the road.

Also, I apologize for the poor images, but the only working camera I have is on my iPod, so bear with me and pretend that the images are better. If you look at the link to the tea on DeRen Tea's website, you can get a much better image.

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