Many tea-lovers don’t know how to discern the quality of Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess) after buying them. Tasting Tie Guan Yin is a science of appreciating. Today, an expert from a Chinese tea site who is specialized in Fujian’s autumn tea is about to teach the method of tasting Tie Guan Yin from its core (interior) to the appearance (exterior). The so-called core part of Tie Guan Yin refers to the taste, aroma, tea juice and leaf. The exterior is the shape, appearance and color.
Take an appropriate portion of dry tea leaves of Tie Guan Yin into a cup. Boil the water and pour it into the leaves. Then smell the aroma and observe the color of the tea. Finally taste the tea. This is the regular process of an interior review of Fujian tea. By tasting the tea, we will find the high-quality Tie Guan Yin’s aroma lasting and lingering with a hint of orchid. The tea water is crystal clear, pure and transparent without any other substances. It has a sweet, fresh and mellow flavor. Later, the slightly sweet flavor will come back again. When we observe the leaf in the bottom of the teacup, the leafstalk is wide and thick. So it is with the main part of the leaf. We can also see the leaf is as smooth as silk, looking like a wave shape. It’s very beautiful.
After the review of the interior part, we can take a look at the shape and appearance of Tie Guan Yin. The leaf has a bulky stalk and a round head, like a dragonfly. There are some tea shreds scattered in an order, unlike other sprawling ones. The leaf has a bright green with a tint of dark color. It also seems lightly shiny and oily with no impurities and no strange smell. When we observe its color, it is oily and glossy, and with a luster of sand green. We can also have the aroma of Tie Guan Yin to see whether it is smoke-free, mold, rancid, sour or have other unusual odor. The high-quality Tie Guan Yin has stronger and longer-lasting incense. We can smell a significant fragrance of orchids in a sense.
High-quality Tie Guan Yin has additional health care features than so-called regular Tie Guan Yin tea. It has functions such as anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-arteriosclerosis and anti-diabetes. Also, it can keep us fit, prevent tooth decay, reduce fever and relieve inflammation as well as sober us up. Tie Guan Yin has so many benefits to make us healthy.
Autumn Tea of Tie Guan Yin: How to Make and Discern It
Tie Guan Yin has four categories: spring, autumn, summer and winter tea. “Chun Shui Qiu Xiang” refers to the spring and autumn tea of Tie Guan Yin. Spring tea focuses on the taste whereas the autumn tea focuses on the aroma. They have independent characteristics. However, in terms of the quality, autumn tea of Tie Guan Yin is the best of the year.
The autumn tea of Tie Guan Yin is usually released in September and October. The Tie Guan Yin in early September is called early autumn tea. In October, the autumn tea will be massively released in the market. Autumn is the best season for picking up Tie Guan Yin because the air is fresh and crisp. Therefore, it is the best season for mass production of tea. Although it takes the same process to make spring tea, autumn tea is far easier to be produced. Plus, winter is about to come so the temperature of autumn is a lot more appropriate to preserve the tea from being perished.
The Features of Autumn Tea of Tie Guan Yin
Autumn tea is boasted with its dryness and tightness, according to another Chinese report. Grabbing a handful of dry tea leaves into a cup is a good way to discern Tie Guan Yin. If a crispy sound can be heard, it should be the autumn tea. If a low muffled sound can be heard, it should be the summer tea. The authentic autumn tea of Tie Guan Yin has tight-and-compact appearance. It also has a thick, solid and bulky shape. When throwing the dry tea into the cup, it creates a naturally crispy sound. However, the summer tea has a flabby and light appearance. Also, it has a relatively deep dull sound.
Autumn tea has a shiny green color. One method to discern the autumn tea is to observe its color and gloss, which is one of the most direct ways. The authentic An Xi Tie Guan Yin should be bright green so it’s not difficult to identify. Take a small handful of the dry tea leaves in the light. If it’s full of green and fairly glossy, it should be the early autumn tea; if it’s dark and lack of gloss, it should be the summer tea. If it has a black oily color (like the color of dried persimmon), it’s not only the early autumn tea but also a better quality of the autumn tea.