Delicious and arcane, experiencing this Tieguanyin is like entering a fruit vendor’s stall in an ancient market—roasted grain gives way to a delicious brothiness, both in flavour and in mouthfeel, followed by verdant notes familiar in green tea, and ending in an aromatic bouquet of fruit: raspberry, a subtle note of cassis, the aroma of raisins or dried figs. At the same time pleasantly mellow and easy to quaff, it is easy to recognise the hand of a true master craftsman behind its profile.
And indeed, it was created by Master Chen (read the blog), a tea master whose goal is to find a balance between mainstream bright green Tieguanyin and traditional deeply oxidized oolongs; a Tieguanyin processed in the Taiwanese way, Master Chen would say. With Anxi moving away from age-old tradition, this style of tea is becoming more rare; let us hope that tea masters continue to strive to keep the tradition alive.
And if you enjoy darker flavours or wish to try another of Master Chen's masterpieces, this Tieguanyin is also available with a deeper, charcoal roasting.
Master Chen brewing two of his traditional Tieguanyin during our visit to his factory.