I wanted to thank Adagio for the opportunity to try all of these awesome teas! I have been using their Ingenuitea accessory for so many reviews, I thought it was only appropriate that I also review some of their teas as well
Ti Kuan Yin is a very lightly oxidized tea. It is also known as Tiguanyin or "Iron Goddess of Mercy" because it is named after the Chinese goddess of mercy Guanyin, the female embodiment of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. This tea is known for its incredible aroma, but from my experience the actual taste of the tea is much lighter than its scent.
I want to start with a little disclaimer. Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to try some of the best teas in the world, so my standards are quite high. While Adagio does have very good tea, I believe it is unfair to compare it with the directly sourced, small farm teas I have been trying recently. Adagio has a special place in my heart because it was one of the companies I would buy from when I was starting my adventure into the world of tea. They have very good teas at good prices, but some of the more experienced connoisseurs may prefer a tea from a smaller company that sources teas from small farms like Nio for Japanese tea and Yunwei for Chinese tea.
Upon the first sip, it was already clear that this would be one of my favorite unroasted oolongs. There was so much light perfume fragrance to the tea, it really was a lot to take in. What I find with some of these high-quality, unroasted oolongs is they have a ton of this floral fragrance, but not a whole lot of body to the flavor. This one is different. There is an excellent creaminess to the tea I have never experienced in an oolong before. I also get this nice fresh crisp feeling in the aftertaste. This is almost similar to what you might expect from fresh peppermint. It cleanses the mouth and is quite delicious.
After a few different tasting sessions, I notice that this tea does get pretty bitter if you steep it too long. Even when I forgot about the tea and left it steeping for about 10 minutes, it still turned out to be quite nice. It is almost impossible to over steep this tea, making it a perfect oolong for beginners. At every level you can find something about the tea to enjoy. If you steep it for a quick amount of time, you get the beautiful fragrance and floral notes. After a few minutes you begin to pick up on the natural creaminess of the tea and after 5 or more minutes, you start to get a very pleasant bitterness that makes for an enjoyable aftertaste.
As this tea gets cooler, it is almost even more enjoyable. The cooler tea accentuates the crisp floral notes and downplays the bitterness towards the end. This tea is so amazing, I will really have to try icing it down or perhaps making a cold brew. Overall, I like this tea a little bit more than the hot version actually. Crisp and clear floral notes and a smooth finish. With a warmer tea you actually get a little more sweetness. This tea is filling me with energy. I just want to go outside and do stuff! I will have to go for a quick walk before my next steeping.
Believe it or not, the second steeping really hasn’t lost a whole lot of it’s flavor. It still has that nice fresh, crisp flavor you really look for in an oolong. There is a tiny bit of sweetness coming out, but mostly it is the crisp and refreshing sip.
This tea is amazing. The first sip has so much of a floral aroma and a full-bodied taste with a creamy mouthfeel. Normally you have to choose one of those in a tea, but this one has all three. Adagio really nailed it with this tea! The first steeping is incredible and the second steeping is just as good. I can also tell that this tea is amazing cold, which is a huge selling point to me.
If you get one tea from Adagio, let it be this one. It absolutely shattered all of my expectations and has actually become one of my favorite unroasted oolongs. I hope you have enjoyed this review, we have many more to do this week!