Review of Tie Guan Yin Special Edition, traditional charcoal roast

8 of 104 of 54 of 573 of 100
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This tea got my attention with its unusual aroma, and I suspect it's the Mao Xie. There's like a familiar woody quality, typical for a roasted oolong, but with a peculiar quality suggestive of a savory soup containing celery root and other vegetables. The flavor is surprisingly savory for an oolong, with not much in the way of bitterness, sourness, or sweetness.

I normally prefer pure teas, but every now and then a well-chosen blend gets my attention, and I'm impressed by this one. Do I prefer this one to the straight Tie Guan Yin with a traditional charcoal roast? Surprisingly, I would say I do, slightly. This one is less fruity but has more dark, complex qualities. I also found this tea to be much more full-bodied than the Tie Guan Yin alone was.

This tea is definitely good for multiple infusions. After a third (long) infusion, using a fairly small amount of leaf, the resulting cup was still quite rich, although the complexity of the aroma had diminished notably--it was mostly wood and roast left. The second (5 min.) infusion (after a 3 min. first one) was probably the most flavorful, it had fewer of the light aromatic tones, but it was bolder in flavor and considerably more full-bodied.

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