Friday, December 16, 2016

Origns Tea: Tie Guan Yin - A Li Shan, A Tea Review

Ben is the meanest thing ever, seriously! As a wedding present to ourselves, we traded in a bunch of Magic Cards for store credit at Card Kingdom (including my super expensive Grim Flayer) and used to to finish off a couple of our decks. I also used it to get some much needed purple sleeves and a really cool Liliana deck box for my zombies, but the big jerk told me to not open the box until he gets home. So it is sitting there, staring at me, calling me to open it...I must be strong, but it is hard!! I am excited for the cards, but mostly I want to sleeve my decks!

It is a chilly day, meaning I need a tea that cuts through the cold, like Origins Tea: Tie Guan Yin - A Li Shan a roasted Taiwanese Oolong from one of my favorite mountains. The aroma of the leaves is nutty, a little savory tea, similar to a full grain walnut bread that has been nicely toasted, but this bread is clearly made for sandwiches rather than as a dessert bread. Yes, I take my bread very seriously. Towards the end is a bit of almond and brown sugar, only a hint of sweetness, mostly this tea is about toasted nuts.

After steeping I think I can safely say this is the nuttiest TGY I have ever sniffed, I get notes of almond, walnut, macadamia nuts, and even a touch of pecans, all thoroughly toasted in a fire giving it an edge of char. Under the char and nuts is a gentle note or orchid adding a touch of sweetness. The liquid, however, is surprisingly sweet, with notes of orchid and honeysuckle, almonds and walnuts, all of which have been tossed on a fire! The char note is very present but not unpleasant.

The first steep is thick and smooth, very much so a mouth coating Oolong, which I notice a lot of roasted Oolongs feel more sharp (not really the right word since sharp would be painful, it is more the difference between biting into okra and biting into lettuce.) It is very sweet, with notes of almonds and macadamia nuts drizzled with honey. Towards the middle it picks up notes of baked walnut bread and a bit of orchids, with a finish and subsequent aftertaste of orchids.

On to the next steep, the char has increased, definitely that more sharp mouthfeel I associate with roasted Oolongs. The taste is nuts that have been lit on fire, with a strong toasted bread undertone. Not much sweetness to be found in this steep, but there is a lingering aftertaste of orchid, ghostly but floral.

I was able to get several steeps out of this tea, I found it kinda puttered out a little soon, fading into mostly char after steep eight. I really liked how nutty it was, and how nutty it stayed until the end, especially with the notes of almond and macadamia nut, something I don't run into as often as I would like. This is a great daily drinker I think, solid notes and pleasant taste, though it does not last as long as I would like for a more 'special occasion' TGY.

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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