Deerland Grade: C/Attractive. It is balanced, delicate, and with a distinctive character. A memorable one.

 

Winter 2020

Cultivar | TieGuanYin

MuZha Region | 450 m

Oxidation Level | Medium

Roasting Degree | Heavy

 

 

This decent, heavy charcoal-roasted Zhèng-Cóng TieGuanYin/Iron Goddess Oolong we found in Taiwan, is a good example of how quality Iron Goddess Oolong can be further roasted and present itself with a different range of flavors. It is still made with the orthodox MuZha style procedure with a Taiwanese style tea processing twist. 

 

Charcoal roasting is one of the most knowledge-intensive areas in Taiwanese oolong tea production. If roasting is over-done, tea leaves would, unfortunately, be carbonized and will not expand no matter how long they are steeped and taste unpleasantly smoky and bitter. To process a well-made heavy roasted oolong, therefore, relies merely on the tea roaster's skill.

 

It is recommended that such heavy roasted teas should be stored in a clay tea container for at least half a year before they are brewed and consumed so that the pungent notes from roasting can be reduced through daily oxidization. It is common to see that people store such type of tea for years or decades. The best time to brew this particular batch would start from Summer 2021 (NOW!).

 

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Most Taiwanese have heard TieGuanYin, and probably many of them know that MuZha, Taipei is the first TieGuanYin producing region in Taiwan. However, what exactly does TieGuanYin refers to is not a piece of common knowledge. 

 

TieGuanYin is used both as the name of a tea cultivar and the name of a specific tea processing method developed in MuZha over a hundred years ago. In the strictest sense, only tea made from TiěGuānYīn cultivar and produced with the MuZha style procedure can be called TieGuanYin in Taiwan. Specifically, such tea is called the Zheng-Cong TieGuanYin  (正欉鐵觀音, TieGuanYin made from the original cultivar). 

 

Nowadays, the MuZha style tea processing method, which is medium to high oxidized and roasted, is used on different cultivars and in different regions in Taiwan. Tea made by such a processing method is also called TiěGuānYīn but taste differently from the orthodox Zheng-Cong TieGuanYin. 

 

Authentic TieGuanYin has been rare these years in Taiwan. The MuZha style tea processing method is very laborious, and the results have not been very popular in Taiwan these years due to the development of low-oxidized high-mountain tea. It is common to see that some greenish ool