This is a review that I have been wanting to finish for a few months now. A few months back, I reviewed the Ti Kuan Yin A+ Wulong Tea from the summer harvest at Lin Farm in Anxi county, Fujian Province, China. As I had mentioned in that post, I do not always enjoy the Ti Kuan Yins that I receive in sample sets, thus not many get reviewed on my website. The Lin Farm summer harvest was the best Ti Kuan Yin that I had ever tasted up to that point. When I found out that the Autumn harvest produced the best Ti Kuan Yin from Anxi county, I was quick to let the Lin’s know that I wanted to make an order. I purchased the best grade of leaf, and waited with much excitement for the package to arrive.
The package arrived, and I quickly opened it, as I had an airtight canister prepared for this teas arrival. The freshness of the aroma was unimaginable. The color of the leaves was such a bright, lively green that I had never seen before. Upon brewing this tea for the first time, I had found an instant favorite. Thankfully I bought 500 grams, so I would be set for a few months. Since the day that I received that package, this tea has been the one that I brew for guests and special occasions in my house. In my opinion, this is the best quality tea that I have in my personal collection.
But now, it is time to give this tea the review that it deserves. Let the journey begin…
The dry leaves either have a bright, lively green color or a dark green color. The leaves are rolled, but not quite semi-ball shape, and have a fairly uniform size. There are absolutely no stems present. The leaves appear unbroken. The aroma is incredibly fresh and floral (orchid), with a light brown sugar scent.
Five grams of dry leaves were placed in an 8.5 ounce (240 ml) kyusu teapot. Purified spring water was heated to 190°F (90°C). The leaves were infused for one minute thirty seconds on the first infusion, one minute on the second, and one minute fifteen seconds on the third.
The first infusion produced a liquor with a light, clean jade green color, perfectly clear and transparent. The aroma is delicate and floral (orchid), with slight scents of light brown sugar and apple. The body is delicate medium, with a buttery feel. The taste is dominantly floral (orchid), with very light notes of apple and light honey. The aftertaste is amazingly fresh and flowery, with a very noteworthy persistence. In addition to the common sensual characteristics of this tea, there is a noticeable energy to it, as well. This tea has an immediate relaxing and uplifting effect. The quality of the leaves and the care taken by the growers can be felt as easily as tasted.
The second infusion produced a liquor with a slightly deeper shade of jade green color. The aroma and taste remain dominantly fresh and floral. The taste has strengthened some over the first infusion, but the same general notes are present. The second infusion is overall better than the first.
The third infusion is nearly identical to the second infusion in all respects. The color, the strength of the aroma and taste, the body and feel are all nearly identical from the second infusion to the third. Every single sip is phenomenal.
Although I do not have photos of the additional infusions, I did brew these leaves four more times. The aroma and taste of the seventh infusion is still better than most other Ti Kuan Yin products that I have had.
The infused leaves have a perfectly uniform fresh forest green color. All leaves are unbroken, with a small number having slight tears from processing. The size of the leaves is also fairly uniform. After three infusions, these leaves have a wet leathery feel, and it is obvious that they have much flavor left to offer. There are no stems at all. The aroma is fresh, sweet, and floral, almost reminding me of apple blossoms. The appearance and aroma of the infused leaves is as appetizing as the liquor itself.
Honestly, I do not know if I can even put into words the level of enjoyment that I get out of this Ti Kuan Yin A++ Autumn Harvest Wulong tea from Lin Farm. I will say with 99.9% certainty that if I had to choose one tea from my collection to take with me on a vacation, voyage, or into the afterlife, this tea would be my choice. It looks beautiful, smells beautiful, tastes beautiful, feels beautiful … you get the idea. If you will take one conclusion from this review, it is this: I love this tea.
Thanks and praises to the Lin Family, and many thanks to Linda Lin for reaching out to me last year. I hope your family and their teas gain the recognition that I feel they deserve. Happy Chinese New Year to the Lin’s, and to all who celebrate it! Cheers for the Year of the Wood Horse.