Taiwan's Tie Guan Yin Oolong, as it is made in the Muzha tradition, is the most heavily oxidized and heavily roasted of all Taiwan's renowned Oolong (partially oxidized) tea types. The photo above shows the leaves when they are approaching the desired degree of oxidation, before the tumble heating/kill green step of Oolong Tea making.
Our Tie Guan Yin source has his own certified organic plots of Tie Guan Yin cultivar in the historical tea producing region of Muzha in Taipei. These plots of tea are quite small, and the yield is minimal. So he supplements his own produce with Jin Xuan (Tai Cha #12) cultivar produced in the nearby Pinglin District (home of Wenshan Baozhong Tea). He told us that our current batch is comprised of 2/3 organic Tie Guan Yin leaf and 1/3 conventional Jin Xuan leaf. He processes these leaves separately, and combines them near the completion of th roasting process. So they were blended after the third or fourth roasting and roasted together one or two more times.
We decided to taste our new spring batch with last winter's batch to see how they compare with each other. You can watch the video below for the full scoop. Here, we'll just take note of our last winter's batch (left) as being noticeably darker than this spring's batch — indicating that it was a heavier roast. The new spring batch was prepared to meet the local competition standard of quality, which requires a more subtle, balanced roast factor. Tasting them side by side really brought last winter's bold, hearty character in contrast to the milder, smooth, balanced character of the new spring batch.
Our current in store batch of spring tea achieved 3rd Place Category award, ranking it well within the top 20% of all entries. We shared a spring 2021 batch of TGY from the same source with the Eco-Cha Tea Club last year. You can read more about the traditional craft of Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea making here.
Watch the tasting video for the full experience of the spring 2022 batch in comparison with winter 2021 batch! When done watching, grab some of this tea here!
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