Aged Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea from Lin Family Farm

On August 27th of 2013, I tasted a sample of Aged Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea. This sample was provided by Linda Lin from the Lin Family Farm. I am not certain if this farm has a more official name. Linda, if you read this review and have more accurate information, please feel free to comment or contact me, and I will update the post accordingly.

From what I understand, the Lin Family Farm is located in the Anxi county of Fujian province, China. This family specializes in the production of Ti Kuan Yin oolong. They recently decided to begin selling their products internationally through a web-based tea shop. At the moment, the tea shop is displayed in Chinese only, so if anyone reading this review is interested in purchasing tea from the Lin Farm, please contact me and I will put you in contact with Linda Lin.

This particular sample of Aged Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea was originally produced in the autumn of 2003. Only recently have the Lins decided that this tea had aged enough to be sold. I consider myself fortunate to be one of the reviewers of this unique tea. On an unfortunate note, I was too eager to try this tea, and totally forgot to take a picture of the dry leaves. Just imagine a highly oxidized oolong with long, hearty stems. Now, on to the review.

Tea Analysis and Review Form

Date:  08/27/2013

Product Name:  Aged Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea

Purchased From: Linda Lin and the Lin Family Farm

Origin:  Anxi county, Fujian province, China

Type of Tea:  Chinese Oolong

Tea Leaf Characteristics Prior to Infusion:

No Photo Available. My apologies.

Aroma:  Vegetal (cut grass), Earthy (Barnyard Hay), slight hint of burnt wood.

Dryness:  Moderately dry. Leaves crack in to a very coarse crumble.

Color:  Brownish-green to dark brownish-green leaves. Brown stems.

Texture:  Some smooth rolled leaves, some rigid rolled leaves. Very dense, tightly rolled leaves.

Size, Shape, Length:  Various sizes of tightly rolled leaves. Some crumbs, some long bare stems.

Unique Characteristics:  The aroma of these dry leaves was the most unique. The description above may lead some to believe that the aroma is unpleasant, but that is not true. The aroma is very interesting and can be enticing to fans of pu’er teas or lapsang souchong style teas.

Sampling Measurements:

Amount of Water:  24 oz  (682 ml)

Amount of Tea:  10 grams

Tea Liquor Evaluation:

First Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Earthy (barnyard hay), char (tobacco), robust

Color:  Golden-Yellow,  clear, transparent.

Taste:  Mouth filling, robust taste of barnyard hay, tobacco, and dandelion. Earthy aftertaste.

Comments:  Among the most unique tasting teas that I have ever tried. Definitely not a tea for me a novice tea drinker, but I can definitely imagine acquiring a taste for this tea, much like the acquired taste for pu’er or lapsang souchong.

Second Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 0 seconds

Aroma:  Not quite as robust as 1st infusion.  Barnyard hay, tobacco.

Color:  Brighter golden-yellow.  Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Mouth filling, less robust, earthy (barnyard hay), char (tobacco), floral (dandelion).

Comments:  I liked this 2nd infusion better than the 1st. The balance of this 2nd infusion was better, with a less robust taste.

Third Infusion:

image

Water Temperature:  190ºF  (87.78ºC)

Steep Time:  2 Minutes and 15 seconds

Aroma:  Very slightly lighter than 2nd infusion. Barnyard hay, tobacco,  dandelion.

Color:  Golden-Yellow,  like the 1st infusion. Clear, transparent.

Taste:  Lighter overall, in a positive way. Earthy barnyard hay, floral dandelion. Tobacco taste has dissipated. Feel is becoming smoother.

Comments:  This infusion is better than the 1st infusion,  but not as good as the 2nd infusion. However, I expect this tea to provide multiple subsequent infusions.

Tea Leaf Characteristics After Infusions:

image

Color:  Leaves are uniform dark green,  stems are brown.

Aroma:  Smell of burnt toast and wet wood.

Size, Shape, Length:  Mostly large leaf fragments, long bare stems ranging from 1.25 inches (31.75 mm) to 2 inches (51 mm) in length. Some fully intact leaves.

Unique Characteristics:  The leaves appear to be nowhere close to being exhausted. The leaves are not close to being fully unfurled, are quite durable, and can probably provide at least two more infusions. The aroma is also very unique.

Final Comments:  Don’t let the nomenclature for the aroma and taste deter you from trying this tea. I can honestly say that this tea was unlike any tea that I have ever tried. I see this tea being a new favorite for fans of pu’er, lapsang souchong,  and other earthy and robust varieties of tea. This sample introduced me to an entirely different taste and variety of oolong. I am very pleased that I had an opportunity to explore this rare and unique tea that took ten years to mature. Thank you,  Linda Lin, for giving me this opportunity. I look forward to trying your family’s other varieties of ti kuan yin, as well.

Thank you for taking your time to read this review. Please leave a comment and start a discussion.

%d bloggers like this: