Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Teavivre
TeaVivre brings you the fresh Monkey King Monkey King Tie Guan Yin which has no heavy roasting flavor. It is from the origin place of Tie Guan Yin, Anxi in Fujian Province. The twisted dry leaves are tight and strong in dragonfly-like shape. Dry tea has the light refreshing fragrance of vegetables and fruits. After brewed, the characteristic fresh scent of Tie Guan Yin comes. The tea liquid tastes sweet and its fragrance lasts long.
Tie Guan Yin has two different kinds of making method, Zheng Chao (正炒,) and Tuo Suan (拖酸), which was introduced in the description of Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin. This Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin belongs to zheng chao Tie Guan Yin tea, has comfortable brisk and smooth flavor without the sour taste on your tongue, just like the Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is a lovely Tie Guan Yin – it’s a little different than the ‘typical’ Tie Guan Yin, at least, those that I’m used to. The leaves above look greener than the leaves that I found when I opened the sample pouch, these appear to be a chocolate brown color with notes of a deep forest-y green. They look as though they might have been lightly roasted or at the very least they appear as though they were oxidized a little longer than the typical green Tie Guan Yin.
To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan and measured a bamboo scoop of leaf into the bowl of the gaiwan. I rinsed the leaves for 15 seconds in 180°F. Then I discarded the liquid and resteeped the leaves for 45 seconds in 180°F water and strained the liquid into my teacup. Then I repeated the process, adding 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion. I combined the first 2 infusions to create my first cup, infusions 3 and 4 combined made my second cup, and so on…
And after tasting the tea, I think I’m correct with the ‘roasted’ guess because I taste a nice roasty-toasty flavor to this. It’s sweet and nutty and very pleasantly smooth. There is very little astringency to this first cup. It’s creamy and this creaminess develops as the cup cools. I found the first few sips to be crisper, brisker than the sips that followed as the cup cooled somewhat. As the tea cooled, the brisk flavor became more subdued and the creaminess came forward. While I liked that brisk note, I am liking the creaminess even more. I like the way it melds with the nutty flavors.
The second cup was not quite as creamy as the first but I found it to be even smoother. The roasty-toasty notes remind me of notes of charred wood and freshly roasted, still warm chestnuts. The toasty flavors lend an autumnal taste to the cup, evoking thoughts of a walk on an afternoon when the weather is crisp and the fallen leaves are crackling beneath your feet. You can smell hints of smoke in the air from a nearby chimney. It’s a very cozy and comforting flavor.
The third cup almost seemed like a different tea entirely! It’s still smooth, but this tastes brisker and cleaner. I’m not getting as much a nutty tone as I’m getting a fruit-like flavor. Hints of peach with the charred wood notes that I experienced in the second cup.
This third cup is a very refreshing tea – my palate feels clean after sipping it but don’t mistake that for a ‘cleansing astringency’ because I’m not experiencing that. What I’m experiencing is a crisp, clean flavor that isn’t inundated with a heaviness. It is gentle and soft on the palate and doesn’t weigh it down with flavors. It’s an invigorating taste. As the cup cools slightly, some of the nutty flavors start to emerge and these meld beautifully with the peachy flavors.
A really lovely Tie Guan Yin. If you are familiar with the greener Tie Guan Yin, I strongly recommend trying this one for something a little different! This is yet another example of why I love Oolong teas so much – the word “Oolong” can mean a vast number of different tastes and just when you think you’re familiar with one type of Oolong, something comes along like this Monkey King and offers something a little different and makes you fall in love with Tie Guan Yin all over again!