As I think I’ve stated before — the first law of a tea blogger is that the rate at which samples are sent to the blogger is always going to be higher than the rate at which the samples are consumed.
It gets harder when you get gift tea along with it, as I did recently from Toki.
These are two packs of 1991 tieguanyin from, I think, the Tea Gallery in New York.
The leaves are highly rolled, and smells a little roasted. The smell is more obvious when it hits the warmed teapot. The tea brews a rich brown liquor
It’s obviously thick. The tea is surprisingly still a bit bitter, and the roasty taste is quite present. Tastes a bit like a Best Tea House tieguanyin…. the tea is rounder and smoother than a new tieguanyin, but I think this was probably stored in more air-tight conditions (I know the Best Tea House usually stores theirs in extremely well sealed containers). The character that develops under this sort of condition is not the same as those that I found in Taiwan when they were more exposed to the elements. It’s obvious that this was a good tea when it was first made — all the right characteristics are there. My fiance had a lot of fun drinking this tea while eating chocolates. She said it went really well together, perhaps because of the strong roasty flavour plus the heavy body combining to bring out the best in the chocolates. I wouldn’t know, since I didn’t try.
There’s something funny about the wet leaves though — notice the difference in tones in the leaves? While most of them are dark brown/green, a few are a very light yellowish brown. How come?