I’m slowly getting around to tasting the teas I ordered during Black Friday. I did not buy that much, but Nannuoshan was a tea shop I wanted to order from. With my order, I got a free sample: a 1997 Vintage Tieguanyin. I only ordered puerh tea, but it’s nice that I got an oolong sample with my order.
1997 Vintage Tieguanyin
This 1997 Vintage Tieguanyin is a rather unique tea as it’s a blend of two varietals. Master Chen blended tea leaves from a Ben Shan cultivar and a Tieguanyin cultivar. This is the first time that I’m drinking a tea like this one.
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It was produced in 1997 so it has been aged for over two decades. It comes from Longjuan, which is located in Anxi.
- 3g for a 80ml porcelain gaiwan
- Water 99°C
This is a really interesting-looking tieguanyin. Dark brown leaves that are medium-sized. I see some really big leaves and those are a bit lighter. Most other tieguanyin teas I have tried were rolled into pellets, but this one is completely different. The dry leaves offer a really sweet aroma of apricots with a citrus twist. The wet leaves smell even better! More intense apricots with something refreshing. It feels like rain is falling on a hot day in summer.
I did one rinse and 4 slightly longer infusions because that is what the brewing instructions say on the website.
Infusion 1 (30 sec): some of the apricots are noticeable right at the start of the infusion. However, these don’t stay around for long as they are quickly replaced by notes of hay and a slight minerality. The finish and aftertaste are good, but the aftertaste is not that intense at first. It’s only after a couple of minutes that the aftertaste becomes more intense. I also think that I didn’t use enough leaves because the infusion itself is rather subtle.
Infusion 2 (60 sec): the color has changed into copper. More notes of hay are noticeable at the beginning and these notes slowly become sweeter towards the finish. The aftertaste has honey to it and feels really sweet. The infusion itself is not as sweet as the aftertaste and I experienced some very mild tannins. This one leaves a nice feeling in the mouth after swallowing. After 4-5 minutes, the tannins slowly return and form a nicely-balanced union with sweet honey.
Infusion 3 (60 sec): this one feels gentler at the start. Some hints of hay, but the honey sweetness has moved to the front. Now I’m getting some tannins towards the finish of the infusion. This one is more enjoyable than the previous one as it’s gentler.
Infusion 4 (90 sec): more of the same and it mainly consists of pleasant and gentle apricots that slowly glide through the infusion. The finish is a tiny bit tannic, but nothing too intense.
Overall, this was a pleasant tea session with an unusual tea (at least for me). I barely drink oolong tea, and I have almost no experience drinking aged oolong tea. However, this was an interesting experience.
The session didn’t last that long, but I got a nice combination of tannic notes on one side, and sweet apricots and honey on the other side. The aftertaste is what really stuck with me. It lasted really long and felt as if I had drunk a sweet lemonade.
If you want to try this 1997 Vintage Tieguanyin, click here.