Comparing three Tieguanyin

Woken up late on Saturday morning; no vestige of jet lag. Outside it is snowing. After breakfast we set up the table for Tieguanyin tasting. 



During our recent stay in the Anxi county we took two fresh Tieguanyin back home to compare it with our. The three Tieguanyin are of the same price level and from autumn harvests. Gande, our Tieguanyin, is from 2013. The others from 2014. The name of the tea is the village where the tea was grown and processed. 



With me there are Marcella and Sabrina. They don't know which of the three is nannuoshan's Tieguanyin. Blind tasting is crucial when comparing similar teas.

3 grams of leaves in a small gaiwan, 95°C water, 3 minutes steeping time.


The liquor color:

  • Hushang: straw.
  • Xiping: straw.
  • Gande: amber. Darker because older, although stored in the fridge.

The fragrance:

  • Hushang: grassy smell.
  • Xiping: sweet, reminiscent of honey and jasmine.
  • Gande: slightly milky. 

 The taste:

  • Hushang: slightly floral, grassy.
  • Xiping: intense, with an unpleasant egg-white off-taste.
  • Gande: mellow, soft, less floral than Hushang.



    I ask Marcella and Sabrina which tea they like the most. Marcella instantly points her index finger towards Gande. Sabrina tastes once again both Hushang and Gande; after some seconds she says Gande as well. 

    Personally, I would discard straight away Xiping. Gande, with its mellow feeling in the mouth, fits better my taste, but Hushang is definitely more floral, a feature sought after my many in Tieguanyin.

    We brew all the tea a second time. 3 minutes with 98°C water. Opinions remain unchanged.