Thursday, March 15, 2018

Review: Global Tea Hut Tieguanyin 2017 Traditional Oolong

Tea reviews are fun to write, and give me the opportunity to share my tea tasting adventures with you. They can be helpful if you are mulling over what teas to buy, or looking for a particular brand or variety. Keep in mind that taste is subjective, and depending on how you prepare the tea and the water you use, you may have different results. I usually prepare the tea as instructed by the vendor, unless otherwise noted. If at first you're not happy with a tea, try adjusting your water temp, steep time, and amount of leaf. Keep experimenting and tasting!

I have to admit, I don't often reach for Tie Guan Yin. It's either too green and floral, or the roast isn't right for me. There are a few exceptions, and lately I've noticed more traditionally roasted Tie Guan Yin (TGY) popping up.

Today's tea is TGY is from Global Tea Hut. The weather has been cold and I'm reaching for many roasted, darker teas. Traditional Tie Guan Yin is definitely appropriate for this time of year. Global Tea Hut is an organization dedicated to spreading their love of tea around the world. They run a monthly subscription program that includes a tea magazine and a tin of tea every month.

I subscribed to Global Tea Hut for quite some time, but decided to end my subscription because I couldn't keep up with reading all the magazines and drinking all the tea. I still have a huge pile of tea and magazine from about a year ago to get through. Such tea blogger problems! I do recommend it if you are looking for a monthly tea subscription that is unique, and full of information. It's an interesting look at tea farmers, tea culture, history, and teaware. In each issue you can also meet members of 'The Hut' and learn about their tea journey.

I was recently sent the January 2018 issue which is all about TGY. I was excited to try this version, and see where it fell in the 'too green' or 'too roasted' categories. I apologize that in my excitement I didn't take full notes, so I don't have a record on the aroma of the dry leaf. I prepared the sample in my small white porcelain gaiwan. My water temp was originally 200F, and it made a gentle, smooth brew. I prefer my traditional TGY with a little bit more bite, so I changed the temp to 212º F, and I got the more dynamic flavor I was looking for. It did have a little astringency at this temperature, but that's what I prefer. If you're looking for a clean and smooth flavor, go with 200º.

The brewed tea is roasty, with notes of toasted sourdough bread. After one sip I could see freshly baked sourdough bread, cooling on the kitchen counter. There is a hint of tartness within the toasted bread flavor, so my mind went to the sourdough. It also has a juicy flavor I've come to recognize with TGY.  I think it's similar to stewed apples. Flavor is clean, and the roast isn't too aggressive. It is nicely balanced. Definitely a nice version of a traditional TGY.

Thank you to Global Tea Hut for providing the magazine and sample! I enjoyed sipping and reading all the info in the magazine. I hope to subscribe again when I find myself with a little extra time for reading.

To see what fruit I'd pair with a roasted Tie Guan Yin, check out the Oolong and Fruit Tea Pairing 101 I did with my tea pairing friends last year. For a comprehensive look at the tea reviews I've done, you can check out this link, here.

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