Tie-Guan-Yin Second Grade (ZO78)
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From Upton Tea
This is the lowest grade of Chinese Tie-Guan-Yin/Tie-Kuan-Yin offered by Upton tea. The dry leaves are dark brownish green, and unfurl somewhat upon brewing, but stay a bit crinkly.
The aroma is not particularly strong, but is surprisingly complex, aroma of peach with some weaker earthy qualities to it. The flavor is tangy, with only a little bitterness and a very mild astringency in the aftertaste. Overall, the tea lacks body.
Upton recommends brewing 1 teaspoon per cup, 2.5 to 3.5 minutes at 190 degrees. I found these instructions to be passable. I was highly disappointed, however, with my attempt at brewing a second cup. The second cup, barely drinkable, lacked the complexity and peach tones, and had much less flavor and body. I would recommend just steeping a single infusion a longer time--brewed as instructed, the first cup was a little thin. Using slightly more than one teaspoon and brewing for five minutes yields a richer cup and it is still free from any unpleasant qualities. I also found a tolerable two infusions were obtainable by using slightly more than one teaspoon, brewing the first cup only briefly, and then the second for 5+ min. With that method, both cups have a good aroma, but are thin-bodied.
This tea is reasonably priced and offers good value especially given its subtlety and complexity. However, it is important to realize that you might actually find more value in buying a more expensive tea that is good for multiple infusions. In my opinion, this tea clearly is not.