Tie Guan Yin Supreme (铁观音) is our ‘AAA’ grade version of a truly classic Chinese oolong. This one comes from Anxi County in Fujian Province, the birthplace of this famous and popular tea. This Supreme Tie Guan Yin Oolong is an Anxi-style tea, which means that it is lightly oxidised, retaining many of the delicate floral aspects. Compared to our standard Tie Guan Yin this tea is a top AAA Supreme grade, according to the usual Chinese classification. The higher grade results in a more complex liquor with a more fascinating interplay between the more floral and buttery notes and a fresher, sweet aftertaste. We source this tea via our wholesale partner in China and this batch is from the 8 April 2023 harvest.
This oolong undergoes a complex production process that results in quite a characteristic tea and is shared with other light Anxi-style oolong teas. The processing goes through the following stages: plucking of tea leaves, sun withering, cooling, tossing, withering with slight oxidation, further tossing and withering, fixation, rolling, drying, sorting and finally packing. As the tea nears the completion of this process, the distinctive colouration of the leaves becomes apparent. This can be seen on the dried leaves, they become quite light in colour on the edges, almost frosted in places. This is a distinguishable feature of a well-made and correctly processed Tie Guan Yin Oolong. Further, the small dark edge is visible on the leaves, indicating the very light oxidation that this tea undergoes.
Tie Guan Yin Supreme consists of rolled leaves that are a mixture of darker and lighter green colours. As is the standard of picking in China (and as opposed to Taiwan), the leaves are picked without any stalk present. When brewed, it produces a bright and clear liquor with a floral buttery aroma. The taste is fresh and vegetal with notes of fresh green beans. There are definite buttery notes and a sweet floral flavour reminiscent of sweet pea flowers running throughout. Just a touch of roasted flavour can also be found on the top notes. The refreshing aftertaste is complex and lightly sweet. This tea a great representation of a classic Tie Guan Yin Oolong flavour.
This oolong is best brewed at 90°C for around 3 minutes according to your taste and can be brewed 3+ times. For best results, brew gong fu style.