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Yun Xiang (韵香) means roasted. Roasting is the key for Yunxiang Tie Guan Yin’s feature: sweet and mellow flavor, very bright liquid. Usually, people who want to drink Tie Guan Yin will start with Qingxiang Tie Guan Yin, which is the base of Yunxiang tea. By roasting the Qingxiang tea, we can get the Yunxiang tea. Yunxiang tea has long-lasting aroma, but requires 120% more skill and patience for the makers, especially hand-made tea. During the roasting process, the tea will be roasted for 3 or 4 times, for over 8 hours of each time. The maker must control the temperature carefully, and judge the tea’s quality with his experience. We may say that fine roasted oolong tea is made under a strict “fire” trial.
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There are multiple types of Tie Guan Yin in China. It is traditionally divided into three types: Qingxiang, Yunxiang and Nongxiang (浓香). Qingxiang Tie Guan Yin is known as its high aroma and brisk flavor, also called as the GuanYinYun (观音韵). Giving some charcoal fire into the making of Qingxiang tea, it can be transferred into a different type – the Yunxiang Tie Guan Yin, which tastes mellow and full. It has heavy roasting flavor, long-lasting aroma, while keeps the smooth and sweet taste of Qingxiang tea. It is also called as charcoal roasted Tie Guan Yin. Hand-made charcoal roasted Tie Guan Yin takes much more efforts during making.
The skill of roasting tea can be found in ancient China. In Ming Dynasty, the book Investigation into Tea (《茶笺》by Wen Long) wrote: The Classic of Tea does mention the procedure of “steaming and baking,” indicating a long history behind this procedure. In Dos and Don’ts in Tea Appreciation (Pin Cha Yao Lu) by Huang Ru, it is recorded: Once taken out from molds, the cakes should be on a big round shallow plate baked over fire to be heated thoroughly. The fire should be half smothered with charcoal, with a hollow inside to let go the heat.
Anxi is a birth place of good teas. -- Mr. LinIn this photo, Mr. Lin is checking the Tie Guan Yin leaves' condition during roasting.
Mr. Lin is a master tea maker with years of experience. In his spare time, he writes Chinese calligraphy, grows flowers, and practices spirituality in the abundant culture.
The tools using in roasting are simple. But the process is a hard work. A repeatedly check on every 15 to 20 minutes is needed, in order to control the temperature changing and tea leaf’s quality changing. Charcoal roasted Tie Guan Yin has unique aroma and profound taste. The charcoal roasting flavor is pleasant, and the aroma can last longer than Qingxiang tea. Mr. Lin introduced us a part of the procedures of manually roasting.
After repeated roasting
There is an important procedure during roasting: covering ashes. Roasting is to use high temperature to change the tea leaf’s nature. The leaf, however, cannot be directly contacted with hot charcoal at hundreds degrees. The charcoal must be covered with ashes, to slow down the burning speed and control the temperature between 50℃ to 60℃. Meanwhile, the maker must check the leaf’s condition repeatedly. There should be no open fire; otherwise all the previous efforts will be wasted.
The tool used for covering ashes
Anxi County lies in the middle by south of Fujian, at 24°51′ N - 25°26′ N, 117°34′E - 118°18′E. Its total area is 2983.1 square kilometers. The environment of Anxi is definitely suitable for planting tea trees. It locates in the subtropical humid climate zone, on the southeast side of Dai Yun Mountain. The average temperature here is about 16 to 20℃, while the annual precipitation is around 1600 mm to 1800 mm.
The origin tea garden of our Hand-made Tieguanyin in Huqiu, Anxi, Fujian
Tie Guan Yin tea is the premium form of Chinese Oolong teas. Being lightly fermented, these teas are high amino acids, vitamins, polyphenols and antioxidants. These combine into a tea that reduces cholesterol and helps reduce hardening of the arteries, and so can help reduce risks of heart attacks. The antioxidants it contains can also help guard against some forms of cancer, and also help fight the affects of aging and bacterial infections.
Tie Guan Yin tea is the highest quality form of Chinese Oolong tea. Oolong teas were first developed during the early 1700's in the Fujian area of China. As a cross between non fermented green and white teas, and the fully fermented black teas, that combines the best of both in a single tea, Oolong teas quickly became popular all through eastern China and Taiwan. In the early 1970's Oolong Tea became widely popular in Japan, and from their spread to the rest of the world. Fujian, the home of Oolong tea's, still produces the finest Oolong teas.
Jiang Xin and Jiang Yi (2009) The Classic of Tea & The Sequel to The Classic of Tea, Hunan: Hunan People’s Publishing House, ISBN 978-7-5438-5994-4. P227, P242. top
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An unbelievably complex and balanced Tieguanyin, it clearly deserves the high rating it has. It has the perfect amount of roast to it, you can tell in the mouthfeel that it was roasted, but the taste itself is extremely sweet and smooth as though it were not. It is hard to describe this tea because it would sound very contradicting. It is sweet and sugary, yet roasty and earthy. It is smooth and light on the palate, but the aftertaste is profound and lingers in the mouth. It has everything one could ask for in a high-quality oolong with the way it looks, its aroma, its color, taste and texture. Actually, the price for this tea is reasonable. One can easily spend more money on a lower-quality Tieguanyin. I appreciate offerings like this because they are such good value - you can brew a lot of tea with 7-8 grams of leaf.
First I say the price is to much for me but when I drink this tea I was taken from my home into a wonderful jorney into the wet forest. Thetaste is gorgeous.
A lively roasted Tie Guan Yin. Complex and not over powered by the roast. If you like roasted oolongs, definitely give this one a try. The aroma and taste is completely typical of a good roasting job. I cannot wait to have another session with this one to write down more notes.
The aroma is richly roasted, as expected, with notes of char, roasted chestnuts, walnuts, pecans...this is a nutty tea! Finish that off with a distant orchid aroma and you have a very intense aroma, I do suggest sitting down if sniffing this tea. That is a smooth start, smooth and rich, it begins with chestnuts and caramelized sugar, this transitions to black walnut, and lastly it finished with a touch of smoke and char. The mouth feel is almost velvety and thick, it is definitely a whole mouth tea. http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/11/teavivre-nonpareil-anxi-yun-xiang.html
I recieved this tea months ago as part of the Teavivre anniversary sampler, but just got around to having it now. It came in a really nice dark red metallic sample pouch, tightly closed and nearly vacuum-sealed. I decided to use my 4oz to lid level gaiwan which I did not fill all the way to the top to facilitate easier and cleaner pouring. The directions called for boiling water, but I decided to stick with 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Teavivre also recommended using 7.5 grams of tea, but I used about a teaspoon instead. I did however use the timing recommendation for the steeps, which was “rinse (5s), 10s, 15s, 20s, 25s, 30s, 50s, 70s.” I initially planned on doing additions of 20 seconds after the last three. The dry leaves are dark, almost black, and have a smell that although toasted, also has notes of saline. The liquor is a translucent light orange. The first infusion is light, mellow, with notes of spice and vanilla. The second infusion is slightly more toasted in flavor as the leaves open up; the mouthfeel is slightly thicker, but very ‘airy.’ The third infusion has an even deeper toasty flavor to it and a bit of an acidic bite and peppery notes in the aftertaste. The fourth infusion again has an increase in those same toasty notes to the point where I can now honestly see that it is a more aggressive roast (but still pretty mild, just more so than I thought originally), as well as a small amount of musk properly proportioned as not to overwhelm, and a smidgen of that salty flavor I smelled in the dry leaves. The fifth infusion went maybe five seconds longer than the 30 intended. The sixth infusion has a bit of the vanilla back in it, and the roast as calmed down and almost vanished completely. Hints of pepper return along with the interesting salty flavor. After the sixth infusion I increased the temperature to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. The seventh infusion is still salty -- in fact it is the primary flavor. The eighth infusion has a slightly nutty flavor to it, sort of like warmed hazelnut. The ninth infusion I decided to do for 3 minutes instead of 1 minute 50 seconds. The flavor is the same as before, but stronger. The tenth infusion I decided to do for 6 minutes. Again, it is mostly the same as before, only perhaps with a slightly sharper edge to the flavors. The eleventh infusion I decided to do for 12 minutes. It is nuttier and surprisingly not that bitter. I decided to stop after this one, as by this point I had been drinking the tea almost all day. When I decide to have the remainder of the sample, I would like to try it western-style at a hotter temperature to compare. It is definitely an excellent tea, and I was impressed with the care that was taken to ensure that the roast was deep enough to enhance the other flavors but not overpowering.
Revisiting this one, loved the sample so much that I purchased a larger order of this during the great July anniversary sale! Added bonus? This tea was already prepackaged in sample sizes for extreme freshness. Each ~8g was wrapped in plastic, then wrapped in a mini foil baggie and both vacuum sealed and then placed in the usual Teavivre ziplock foil bag. FABULOUS, don't need transfer this to another container! Since I have extra now, I decided to brew this at the suggested temperature to compare. My earlier try was with a touch under boiling which brought out very strong smoked and charcoal flavors. With the suggested temp, it is much smoother and less smokey in both aroma and taste, so it may be better for those who don't like these flavors. However, my preference leans on the strong side while hot and then icing the "leftover" leaves to bring out the sweeter notes.
This one didn't wake up and was bland through the rinse and two steeps (in hindsight, I should have used a higher temperature due to the triple roasting) but then it exploded into a gorgeous warm color and produced a delicious and slightly sweet smoke concentrate that stayed well into the 9th steep. The tea liquor was stronger than the wet leaves, that's never been the case in any of my previous teas! It really tasted like a the warmth of a campfire without any of the acrid, char or bitterness. It outlasted me and I ended up letting the leaves cool down and brewed the rest shinobi-cha. After about 3 hours, the tea liquor was very pale and the 4th hour brought out a lovely sweet melon note (probably what everybody else says is orchid, I suck *heh*) which lasted for another hour or two and gave way to a sweeter version of the gong-fu brew. Ordering some more of this just to play around with, I may actually geek out and try to capture that melon/orchid note again, the contrast complexity between that pure sweet note and the campfire is crazy. Guess all those semesters of lab in Chemistry will come in handy.
A western style steep of this one on this cold morning. Wow, these leaves are super dark, and the tea brewed up dark as well. It’s dark enough to look like a black tea. It smells roasty and charcoal-y. This is most definitely a charcoal-roasted TGY, and while I am definitely getting more in to traditional, lightly-roasted TGY, charcoal roasted is pretty much roasting a bit too far for me, haha. It is smooth, with light vegetal notes and roasty notes. If you enjoy charcoal-roasted oolong, I would definitely suggest checking this one out. This review was originally published on Steepster by Dinosara on December 15, 2013. TeaVivre add this whole review here by getting permission from Dinosara.
Reply: Dear James, Thank you very much for contacting us. The roasting level on this tea is mediem. The fementation level on this tea is heavy. Hope this is helpful for you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Reply: Dear James, Thank you very much for writing to us. Our Nonparreil teas is our best quality teas. Hope this is helpful for you.
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