Review of Superfine Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong Tea

AromaFlavorValueTotal
10 of 105 of 55 of 597 of 100
OutstandingExcellentOutstanding

A very green oolong with a strong and lasting orchid aroma. Among my favorite green oolongs ever sampled.

A few years ago, when I knew considerably less about tea, someone brought a little packet of tea back from China and gave it to my mother as a gift. It was unbranded, marked only with "Guan Yin Wang", and had an intense floral aroma both of the dried leaf and brewed cup. It was among my favorite teas ever sampled, and I did not encounter anything quite like it for some time...until now.

The dry leaf of this tea looks and smells the same: a vibrant green color, tightly rolled, giving off an intense aroma of orchid, almost intoxicating.

Upon brewing though, I find this tea has a slightly different character...the dominant aroma is still mostly of orchids, but it is more vegetal...it's hard to imagine but this tastes and smells even greener than green tea. It almost smells the closest to directly brewing live plant leaves (as I've done with numerous herbs) of any pure tea I've ever sampled. However it has been processed seems to capture the fresh quality of the leaf better.

One thing I love about this tea though is that the orchid aroma is very persistent...it's persistent if you leave a cup sitting for some time, and it persists through many infusions, lasting to the end when the flavor of the leaves finally give out. Some floral aromas can be fleeting or transient but I find the orchid quality in this tea is deeper and has more staying power.

In spite of the intense fragrance of the dry leaf, I find this tea is slow to infuse. TeaVivre recommended a brief infusion time, but I found I liked going a little longer.

I was consistently able to brew at least 3 cups, brewing with a teaspoon of leaf in a mug as I usually do. I had the best results with going 3 minutes, followed by 5, followed by leaving the leaves for a long time to extract the rest of the flavor.

Looking at the spent leaves, they are large, whole, mostly intact leaves with only a little bit of damage here and there.

The price may seem on the high end, but I think this is one of those teas where you get what you pay for. This tea is top-notch and I think it is well worth the price!

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