TEA CULTIVAR SHOWDOWN for a famous Chinese Oolong

TEA CULTIVAR SHOWDOWN for a famous Chinese Oolong


Don Mei : Hey teaheads! This is Don from Mei
Leaf. In this video : Cultivar Showdown for a Famous Chinese Oolong. In this video we’re
going to be doing a tasting comparison of three different cultivars of Tie Guan Yin
Oolong. If at any point in time you enjoy this video then make sure you hit it with
a “like”, and if you’re no t following us on all your socials yet then go click those buttons.
I am here with Celine. Celine : Hello, everybody! [WAVING] Don : It’s evening. We have just come back
from work, and I’m quite hungry, actually. Celine : I’m very hungry. I’m actually thirsty
and hungry. Don : But, I’m also thirsty. Celine : Perfect. Don : And I’m excited for this one. Celine : So am I. [I love] doing these kind
of tastings, where you can actually taste them next to each other, [because] for me
it’s so much easier – in just getting the differents tastes [of it]. Don : Yeah. [It’s] much more educational,
whenever you do a horizontal flight. So what we’re doing today is we’re going to be tasting
our newly released cultivars of Tie Guan Yin, and we’re going to be seeing if we can kind
of describe the differences in their tastes. You ready? Celine : I’m ready. Don : All right, let’s SCOPE these teas. We
have… First of all, I’ll give you the names. We’ve got Superior Iron Goddess, new in. This
is Autumn 2018. We’ve got a new experimental batch [of] Tie Guan Yin that we’re calling
– well, the farmer called – “Batch 54”. So this is Tie Guan Yin “Batch 54”. It’s a very
limited edition batch. It’s kind of experimental. We’ll get onto that. And this one here is
a Huang Dan, and we’re calling it “Golden Flower” Tie Guan Yin. So “Superior Iron Goddess”,
“Batch 54” Tie Guan Yin, and “Golden Flower” Tie Guan Yin. Celine : That sounds so artsy, like from the
artsy “Batch 54″… Don : I wonder if they actually did 54 batches. Celine : Experimental… [laughter] “abstract
tea”. Don : They probably did like five batches,
but they thought, “Oh, we should say “54”, just to kind of make it feel like we did quite
a few.” But it is a really interesting tea, and [when I tasted it] I was like, “Okay.
That’s really interesting.” And they only had 6 kilos, so we’ve only got 6 kilos. Celine : That’s it? Don : Yeah, that’s it. That’s all you’ve got
of “Batch 54”. Okay, so let’s quickly SCOPE these teas. This is Autumn 2018, [the] Superior
Iron Goddess. This one here – the “Batch 54” – is Spring 2018. And Huang Dan – also known
as “Golden Flower” Tie Guan Yin – is Spring 2018. We’re going to talk about the cultivars
in a second, because that’s the main differences. Let’s look at Origin. This comes from Chang
Keng Village in An Xi, in Fu Lian. This is from Xi Ping, [a] classic place for Tie Guan
Yin, in An Xi, in Fu Jian [province].And this is from Da Ping town in An Xi, in Fu Jian.
So they’re all from An Xi – they’re all An Xi Tie Guan Yin – but slightly different areas.
The Picking and Processing [will be the same] – up to three to four leaves. The Processing
is going to be different. This is a Zheng Wei, which means it [was fired] relatively
quickly after withering. This one is experimental and secretive. The farmers would not tell
me anything about how they made this tea. Celine : Oh! Don : So I’m a little bit like in the dark
on this one. It’s experimental. And this one is going to be [something similar] to this.
It’s going to be a classic Tie Guan Yin processing. Elevation [for] this one is 600 meters, [and]
those two are 800 meters. But the main difference between them – apart from those idiosyncrasies
of different areas – is the cultivar. This is Huang Dan cultivare, this is Ben Shan cultivar,
and this one is the Guan Yin cultivar – the classic cultivar for Tie Guan Yin. But all
of these cultivars are used to make Tie Guan Yin. If you want to find out a lot more about
Tie Guan Yin, so that you understand a lot of what I’ve just said, about Zheng Wei, etcetera
– we’ve done a full video [about understanding] Tie Guan Yin. I’ll put a link in the description
below. Celine : Yeah. It’s a really good video. It’s
a lot of info, but it really clarifies a little bit more about that tea. Yeah, [it’s a] “rabbit
hole”. Don : And it’s in the mountains, as well. Celine : And ít’s in the mountains. Don : So you can see us in the tea trip. We’ve
got our little tea pet here, now [definitely called], officially, “Pretzel”. Celine : I was just wondering. Don : Yeah. Celine : So it was voted “Pretzel”? Don : Your name got voted. Celine : Thanks guys! Don : So for those of you who don’t know what
I’m talking about, we did a video with lucy a few weeks ago, where we asked you guys what
this little deer tea pet would be called. Celine : … should be called, yeah. Don : “Pretzel” came first, with 41 percent.
“Giuseppe” was not far behind, at 37 percent. Celine : I liked “Giuseppe”, yeah! Don : …. and 20 percent of you crazy people
voted for “Gangley Prancer”, but I think you were just [trying] to wind me up. All right,
let’s quickly take a look at these leaves. [TO CELINE] Should we bring them a bit closer? Celine : Yeah. Don : Okay. So let’s bring them close – as
close as possible. Celine : Without dropping any. Don : Yeah. We always drop a few. Celine : There we go. Don : [TO CELINE] Go a little bit closer,
if you can. You ready? Celine : Ready, yes. Don : Okay, so this is the Tie Guan Yin variety
– the Guan Yin variety. You can see that these two are relatively similar – the Ben Shan
and the Guan Yin. [This one is] slightly darker, but both of these [have] kind of blue-green
tints. So [there’s] a bit of lime-green, a bit of [dark pine-green], [and] a bit of blue
tinges in there. The Huang Dan is definitely [a little bit more] yellow-green. [There are]
a bit more lime-greens and yellows going on, which is a classic for the Huang Dan variety.
It is a bit of a giveaway. Celine : That’s true. Don : For those of you who remember “Baked
Goods”, “Baked Goods” was also a Huang Dan hybrid, and so that is an unroasted – they’re
all unroasted versions – and that’s an unroasted version of the Huang Dan. Okay, shall we warm
up these… Celine : Yeah. Let’s do that. Don : Gai Wans? Celine : All right. Don : And then we’ll get our nose in these. Celine : All right. Don : So we’re going to be brewing with as
hot as [possible]… [like] 95 to 99 degrees [Celsius] water. Celine : Yeah. Don : These ball-rolled Oolongs [can really]
handle heat. Celine : Yeah, [because] they’re so tightly
rolled. Don : Yeah. However, I do think that [there
are] methods to control [and to] add a little bit more brightness to the tea, but we’ve
got master classes for that coming. Celine : [laughter] More master classes. Don : More master classes. All right, let’s
throw these in here. Bring it here [so that] it’s in focus, in that camera. Celine : Ah, perfect. Don : Okay. Right. Let’s start with the Huang
Dan “Golden Flower”. [TO CELINE] You begin. Get your nose in, and then we can talk about
the differences. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] Ooh! [Even though] it’s
not roasted, it has a toastiness to it. Don : Toastiness to it, yeah. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] It makes me think of
like shortbread. Don : Oh, really? Celine : Is it shortbread? Or like toast? Don : Oh, I know what you mean. Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. It’s got that baked something. Celine : Yes. But it’s light. You know? Don : “Baked Goods” was a roasted version
of that, and that was all about amplifying that baked flavor. Celine : Yeah. Considering this is not roasted,
I’m surprised that it’s there. Don : [SMELLS TEA] It’s definitely got, still,
a little toasty, pastry kind of note to it, for sure. [SMELLS TEA] And a strawberry jam
note to it. [SMELLS TEA] I’m getting like a sweetness to it as well. I should say [that]
the price difference is… Celine : [SMELLS TEA] Yes, “Jam Dodges”? Don : “Jammy Dodgers”, yeah. [It’s] Jammy
Dodgers biscuits. Celine : Maybe they’re English though. I think
they are. Don : I don’t know, but [they’re] like a shortbread
kind of biscuit with some jam, and a little bit of… Celine : A jelly-jam thing. Don : What’s that? There was a cream filling
as well Celine : Oh yeah, there’s like a little cream. Don : A little bit of an icing cream… butter
cream. Celine : Icing custard… thing, yeah. Don : I should say that [the] price difference
is quite marked between these. Huang Dan is definitely a much more affordable cultivar,
in general. Celine : Really? Don : The Guan Yin is definitely on the topper
end of the price range, although of course there are hundreds of grades, especially with
Tie Guan Yin. So this one is about half the price of this one. Okay? It’s worth bearing
that in mind. So this is a really affordable one. We’re getting strawberry jam… Celine : I mean, it smells great, you know? Don : [SMELLS TEA] “Jammy Dodgers”. Yeah,
you’re right. It is just straight up “Jammy Dodgers”. [SMELLS TEA] Biscuits, strawberry
jam, and a little bit of butter cream. [It’s] delicious. Right. Have a sniff of that one,
and see how the Ben Shan variety is different. Remember, this is “Batch 54”, the experimental
batch. Traditionally, I have not gone for Ben Shan, because Ben Shan, for me, always
was milky, but a little bit too light. Celine : Wow, it’s so different. [SMELLS TEA]
Wow! That’s so different! Don : [It’s] so different, so different. [It’s]
much more bright, this one. Celine : Is it a coconutiness? Don : Definitely coconut. Celine : Yeah, let me smell it again. Don : There’s magnolia flowers – those sort
of sweet flowers. There are coconut notes. There’s a slight sour note to it – something
like a yoghurt, or something like that, or sour cream. Celine : Sour cream, yeah. [It’s] more sour
cream, I would say. Don : [There’s] definitely a more sour note
to it. Celine : Yeah. Don : [It’s] delicious. Okay, so let’s move
on to the Guan Yin variety. I’m going to go first this time. [SMELLS TEA] Oh! Again, [it’s]
really different. This one’s definitely pulling out more of the starchy notes. [SMELLS TEA]
I’m getting mashed potatoes and sweet corn. I’m getting those flower notes. I’m getting
magnolias and orchids, and sweet flowers as well. [It’s] very sweet. I would say it’s
a little bit more – on one hand – starchy, but also a little bit more fresh as well. Celine : Yeah. I would say the floral note
comes out more pronounced in this one than the other two. But I agree with you [that
that] sweet corn smell – like buttered sweet corn – I feel like that’s coming through with
the magnolia. Don : Yeah. there’s a sweetness to it, Celine : Yeah. Don : There’s a starchy sweetness to it. So
if we were going to try and sum up the difference in the dry leaf I would say [it’s] more on
the warm side, a little bit more toasty, with kind of those strawberry jam, “Jammy Dodges”
biscuity [notes]. Celine : Yeah. [laughter] Don : This one’s a little bit more tropical.
I’m getting coconut. I’m getting a little bit of… I said yoghurt, or sour cream, but
I’m also getting a sort of mango – really unripe mango; very green mango notes to that
one. And then this one here is the most sweet [SMELLS TEA], I would say starchy-sweet, mashed
potatoes [and] butter, [with] sweet corn, and then the orchids – [SMELLS TEA] and a
freshness, like a sappy freshness, but a sweet, sappy freshness. Okay, let’s warm them up. Celine : Yeah. I was going to say [that] that
is kind of what people look more for in Tie Guan Yin, isn’t it? [Those] kind of floral
notes to it. Don : Yeah, they look for floral notes, I
think. But [also, I tend] to look for … I think that one of the things, with Tie Guan
Yin, that people look for, is they look for very kind of bright, sweet, flowery, and a
little bit [of] creamy notes, which I do as well. But I also look for a tang, especially
in the taste and the finish. So if it doesn’t have that tangy, little bit of sourness – that
slightly sour-to-sweet note to it – then I don’t go for it. If it’s just all aroma then
it’s no good. Let’s rinse it. Celine : Should we do the smell? … Oh, yeah. Don : Let’s rinse them all first… Celine : Okay. Let’s rinse them all. Don : … and then we can do the smell. Celine : Yeah, I like doing it like one at
a time, like just doing the dry leaves; smelling all of them, and doing the wet leaves. It’s
just easier to get the difference. Oh yeah. Don : The problem is that, normally, it takes
half an hour for us to do one, and we’re going to do three, so we need to be moving. Celine : [laughter] All righty. Let’s do this. Don : Okay, so you smell. Celine : All right. Activating. Don : Activate those nasal receptors, and
I will give “Pretzel” like a proper glugging of Tie Guan Yin rinse. Look at that. He’s
like, “Oh my God! Can’t take it!” Celine : Oh shit! [laughter] Oh, sorry! I
was so into my own world, and then all of a sudden I was hearing Don like panicking…
What are you doing? Don : I’m not panicking. I’m just doing an
impression of “Pretzel”. Celine : Oh. It has a very deep voice, that
“Pretzel”. Don : Yeah. just because he’s called Pretzel
doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a deep voice. It’s like, “All right, mate. My name is “Pretzel”,
mate.” Celine : [laughter] God, it’s been so hard.
I’m like so enjoying the smell, and then I’m hearing some funky accent. Don : Okay. Sorry. Go. Talk about the Huang
Dan. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] It’s so sweet-smelling.
It’s so sweet, and look fruity, and yummy-smelling. [laughter] What are those notes? Don : [SMELLS TEA] Um, well… Celine : It’s super fruity, no? Don : [SMELLS TEA] Yeah. It’s fruity. [I’m]
getting that sourness now, though. So I’m still getting those toasty notes. That’s still
there – a warm, toastiness to it. [SMELLS TEA] But I’m also getting a yoghurt, again,
and there’s fruit. There’s a [fruitiness] to that yoghurt. [It’s] not tropical – I would
say – fruit, but still quite sweet. Celine : It’s so comforting. It’s so comforting. Don : What fruit is that? Celine : I was thinking, in my head, apricot
jam, because it’s quite sweet-smelling. Don : Apricot jam swirled into yoghurt, so
you get that [sweet-sour] from the apricot, and the sour from the yoghurt, and then a
little bit of toastiness to it as well. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] Ah! I so want yoghurt
right now. Don : Yeah. That’s dessert. Celine : That’s dessert. Don : You can tell we’re hungry. [SMELLS TEA]
Oh! Oh! Celine : What? Don : [SMELLS TEA] [It’s] so different, [and]
tropical. [SMELLS TEA] Oh my gosh! Now we’re getting a lot more freshness coming through.
I’m getting coconut, but more coconut water – very kind of electrolyte coconut water. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] Oh! Yeah. Don : I’m getting mangos [which] have ripened
up more. I’m getting some sort of [pineapples]. Celine : It’s tropical, isn’t it? Don : [There’s] definitely some pineapple
[and] mangos . Celine : Oh my God! It’s so different. This
is [apricot]. Don : [SMELLS TEA]… and toasty. [It’s] biscuity
[and] warm, definitely – a little bit more on the western hemisphere. This is definitely
tropical. And then let’s go into this one here. Celine : It’s a punch, a juice – a tropical
juice. Don : [SMELLS TEA] This one is [SMELLS TEA]
aloe vera [and] buttered mashed potatoes. [So it’s] like fresh, to starchy, to buttery,
and then you get also some fruit at the end – but a very [clean], crisp fruit. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] You get a bit of pomelo
in here as well. Don : [SMELLS TEA] Yes! Yes. Celine : Oh! It smells so good. Don : [SMELLS TEA] And this one here, green
apple. As you allow it to dissipate – the starchiness starts to dissipate – and you
dive a little bit into that aroma, [and] you start to pick up some fresh green Granny Smith
apples [which are] really, really crisp. I would say that this one is… Celine : Like the skin of the green apples,
with the apple together. Don : Yeah. [So, again], let’s try and summarize
here. Celine : Yeah. Don : [This one is] warmer, again. [We’ve
got] the apricot yoghurt notes. We’ve got coconuts, mangos, pineapples, [and] pomelos.
And [with] this one we’ve got buttered mashed potatoes, magnolia flowers… Celine : Honeysuckle… Don : ‘…honeysuckle, and then a cut green
apple. So what I’m noticing immediately is that the journey on this one is more complicated.
You know? I’m going from sweet [and] flowery, to starchy, to buttery, to crisp and clean.
This one’s really, really tropical, and this one is, I would say, apricot yoghurt and biscuity,
so it’s still got complexity, but it’s a little bit less complex than this one. Okay. So let’s
brew one up at a time. Celine : All righty. Should we start with
this one? Don : Yeah, let’s start with the “Golden Flower”.
So the Golden Flower is a much more, I would say, [the] Guan Yin is the most common variety
being produced. But Huang Dan is produced in quite large quantities, which is probably
why – Hold it! Hold it! Which is probably why it’s a little bit cheaper. [TO CELINE]
Go! Celine : [laughter] I was thinking, “How is
he going to end it? This is like brewing. It’s quite fun. Don : Okay. Let’s take a look at this. [The]
color [is a] nice florescent yellow-green. Celine : I would say, yeah, [it’s] a flourescent
green. Don : Yeah. It’s going to get darker [in the]
future. Celine : I mean, from your side, guys, maybe
it looks more yellow, but it’s very green. Don : Okay. let’s serve it up, and let’s talk
about [the texture]. So we’re drinking out of these little “ickle” cups, because we’ve
got a lot of tea to get through here. Okay, so cheers everybody! [SIPS TEA] Celine : Cheers! [SIPS TEA] Don : MmmHmm! [The] texture [is] light to
medium. [There’s a] nice little juiciness coming through. Celine : [SIPS TEA] Mmm! Oh, it’s so sweet. Don : It’s got a real… yeah. Celine : You know, it’s sweet, but it”s fresh
at the same time. Don : [SIPS TEA] It’s much fresher and sweeter
than I imagined it would be, from the smell. Celine : Yeah. I agree. Don : The sweetness is a beautiful… Celine : [It’s not] like a sugar sweetness.
It’s not like an icing sugar sweetness. It’s more fruity than that. Don : [SIPS TEA] Mmm. [It’s] fruity, yeah,
but a very simple – I want to say like fresh apricots, maybe – or persimmon. Celine : Yeah. Yeah. Don : You know? Celine : More that. Don : That sort of sweet, orange flesh sweetness
– if that makes sense to everybody out there. But [more] simple, rather than a tang. Celine : Yeah. Don : [SIPS TEA] Mmm! Ooh! [There’s a] lovely,
lovely juiciness on the finish. Celine : Yeah, and persimmon can be a bit
like viscous almost – you know, the [taste]. This is very clean. It’s just the aftertaste
is like persimmon. Don : Well, the aftertaste is… Can we brew
another one? Celine : Yeah. Don : The aftertaste for me… Celine : Which one is it? Don : … almost has a sort of herbal Stevia
sweetness. You know Stevia? Celine : Yeah. Don : That sweetener? Celine : Yeah. Don : I don’t like Stevia, in general, but
[that] sort of minty-cool sweetness. Celine : Oh really? Don : Don’t you think so? [SIPS TEA] Here,
have a bit of mine. That persimmon sweetness – that orange flesh sweetness – turns into
a little bit more of a minty-cool sweetness on the mouth. Celine : Yeah. It is very kind of juicy, but
it’s got like a freshness to it as well. Don : You’ve still got my cup. Celine : Sorry. [laughter] Don : Yeah. I don’t think it’s minty so much,
but yeah, it’s got that [slightly cooling]… Celine : Yeah, more of a cooling sensation. Don : I think it reminds me of Stevia, [SIPS
TEA] but the finish is very juicy. It’s [a] nice, simple sweetness, again, but quite short.
It doesn’t have that tang, right? Celine : Yeah. Don : It’s nice [and] juicy. I’m getting juiciness
on the sides of my tongue… Celine : [It’s] very juicy, yeah. Don : … and that’s a nice, sweet juiciness.
Okay, so let’s move on to the next one. Celine : Sorry, Okay. Do it. Don : So now wé’re moving on to “Batch 54”,
whatever that means. Celine : Oh, God. It’s so like “conceptty”.
Well, anyway, it smells amazing. [It’s] that coconutty one, isn’t it? Don : Yeah. That was the one that had a coconut
water kind of [note]. I tell you what, while we’re waiting for the water to heat up… Celine : This is great, because I have tried
them before, but not next to each other like that. So yeah, I really like this tea. It’s
really nice and sweet. Don : Yeah. It’s got a real sweet, easy-drinking,
very nice [taste]. [SMELLS TEA] The empty Gong Dao Bei has a sort of coconutiness to
it, actually. [SMELLS TEA] But it has an almost coconut face-cream [note]. It’s got a little
bit of icing sugar, I would say. Celine : Yeah, definitely some sweetness. Don : It’s that sweet – but again – simple
sweetness. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] Whoa! It’s super sweet
and coconutty. Don : There is coconut in there, isn’t there? Celine : But is it like a coconut lotion,
or something? Don : Yeah, that’s what I [meant]. [It’s]
suntan lotion. Yeah, coconut suntan lotion. Celine : Yeah, that’s it. Don :Yeah., coconut suntan lotion icing sugar. Celine : That’s so weird, but yeah, it really
smells like that. Don : Let’s take a look at this liquor. Celine : Do you want me to do it? Don : I would say it’s slightly more? I don’t
know. It’s similar, right? It’s pretty similar. Celine : I would say that this one was greener.
This one has a bit more of a golden hue to it, but it’s still green. Don : Which is a bit weird, considering that
the leaves were greener. All right, so take your second cup. You can put another cup there,
so you can put it down here. Celine : Oh no! I downed the last one. I’m
not going to be able to taste-test. Don : You can always brew some more up. Okay,
cheers everybody, So this is “Batch 54”. Celine : Cheers. Hmm, it looks lighter…
Oh yeah, that was another infusion though. Don : [SIPS TEA] Mmm. Celine : It’s so different in taste and texture. Don : … and texture. So [for] texture first,
I would say that this is medium. Celine : [SIPS TEA] Mmm! It’s like… sorry… Don : No, go for it. Celine : It sounds a bit weird, but it’s like
drinking, you know those drinks that have a lot of electrolytes? Don : Yeah, isotonic. Celine : Isotonic. Like, it goes into your
mouth. Don : [SIPS TEA] It feels like it’s plumping
your tongue up. Celine : Yeah. [It’s] like really hydrating. Don : [It’s] very hydrating – like coconut
water. Celine : Yeah, like coconut water. Don : It’s got that coconut water hydrating
note to it. Celine : It’s even got a bit of the coconut
water taste to it as well. Don : Definitely. Definitely. It’s definitely
got coconut water taste, and that’s [a note] that I picked up when I first tried it. I
remember writing on the sheet, “coconuts”. But yeah, I think [it’s] coconut water – that
freshness of coconut water. I’m still getting [a fruitiness] coming through. I would say
that pomelo, that you were talking about before, is coming through. Celine : Oh yeah! That’s way more pronounced
now. It was there in the smell a little bit, but now in the taste it’s, yeah, very pomelo. Don : And I’m also noticing a distinct extra
finish to this. I’ve got a little bit more dryness happening. It’s a bit more physical.
I’m getting a physical dry-to-juicy sensation. I’m getting a little bit more of that tang.
If I breathe through my nose I’m getting [brown] baked apples. I’m getting some of that pomelo.
I’m getting a little bit of mango. Celine : [What] did you say? Brown baked apples? Don : Brown butter-baked apples, I meant to
say – but only when you breathe out after you’ve swallowed. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] Oh yeah! [laughter]
Oh, that’s nice. Don : So it goes from that coconut freshness,
through that pomelo tangy sweetness, to this baked… Celine : Oh, this is yummy. Don :… apple, slightly tangy, finish [which
is] dry-to-juicy. [It’s] really, really definitely a marked difference, in terms of the finish.
This has more physicality. [It’s] delicious, and very, very different. Celine : It’s got a lot of creaminess, as
well… Don : Yeah. Celine : … like, “Sago”? What is it called? Don : The pudding? Celine : Pudding, yeah, creamy sago pudding. Don : MmmHmm. Again, made with coconut – coconut
milk – “sago pudding”. Celine : They’re so good. Yeah, it’s very
creamy. Don : Yeah. You’re right. You’re right. Celine : But it is like… It’s not sea water.
It’s like… Don : Iodiney – a little iodiney. Celine : Yeah, exactly. Don : Yeah…yeah…yeah. Theré’s definitely
that slightly more marine note to it, for sure. What do you smell here? I’m going to
brew up this one. Celine : [laughter] [SMELLS TEA] Don : What are you getting? Celine : Okay. I get magnolia, but then I
get – weirdly again – coconut. Don : No. It’s straight up – yeah, for me
it’s straight-up coconut cream. Celine : But like, not coconut lotion. It’s
not like that. Don : [SMELLS TEA] Yeah, exactly. This has
definitely got more of the coconut suntan lotion. Celine : Yeah. Don : And this is definitely much more coconut
cream – like the thick coconut cream. Celine : [SMELLS TEA] Yeah. Like thick coconut
cream, yeah. Don : Finally, we are on to the autumn Superior
Iron Goddess. This is the Guan Yin variety. Celine : So this is meant to be like what
people go for. Isn’t it the top? Don : Well, it’s considered to be – yeah. Celine : Is it the top? Don : No, not really. It’s not about “top”.
It’s about differences. But yes, this is a very well-revered variety, and it’s often
overused, I think. There’s so much of the Guan Yin variety out there, because people
buy according to the name “Guan Yin”. Well, you want to get your clean cup. Celine : Oops! Hmm. Don : Here you go. Celine : Thank you. Don : [It’s a] nice, vibrant color – I would
say a little bit more green again. ///
/// /// [pg 16 of 24] Celine : Yeah, it’s very green. and I don’t
know if it’s because its a new cup. No, compared to the other cups it’s definitely a very bright,
bright lime-green color. It’s beautiful. Don : And the taste is very different, again. Celine : Oh my God! [It’s] full-on honeysuckle.
Yeah. Don : Floral – very floral, [with] orchids,
[and] honeysuckles. Celine : Hmm. You know what? The texture in
the mouth is very lush. It’s creamy in the buttermilk kind of way. Don : Yeah. So what, you mean it’s got the
thick? It’s definitely thicker, and actually, I think the taste of it has [that] sour, buttermilk
note to it. Celine : Yeah. Don : So I think you’re mixing up the taste
and the texture a little bit. Yeah, it’s – I would say – medium to thick in terms ot [texture].
I definitely think it’s the thickest in texture, out of them. Celine : Yeah. Don : And I do agree with you that it’s got
that sour note to it. They all have a slight, sour yoghurty, sour cream note to it. This
is a little bit lighter in sourness, I would say. On the front end you’ve got flowers. Celine : Yeah. It’s like having a [meadow]
in your mouth, with this one. And this one is like having coconut water. That’s how I
think about it. Don : Yeah. [It’s] definitely the most floral,
but also – just like the smell of the wet leaf – also, it is the most, I would say,
complicated. You’re getting some starchy notes in there. There are some green apple notes
in there. There’s some buttermilk going on. [There’s] just a bit more movement in the
taste. You know? Celine : Yeah. You feel like, throughout the
infusions, it’s going to change quite a bit. Don : And definitely, definitely, definitely,
the finish on this is, for me, the longest. Celine : Hmm. Don : I’m getting a distinct tang [in my mouth]
afterwards, and that is that Yin Yun feeling. It has this strong tangy note. If this had
the baked apple, I would say that this is more, I don’t know, it’s got more of a tang
to it. Celine : Like green apple. Don : Green apples, definitely – from the
smell of the wet leaf – is there. Celine : That’s got green in it. Don : But also, I think the tang is – Oh,
[it’s very green]. Celine : Oh my God! [laughter] Don : The tang is almost a sort of green grape
tang. Celine : Oh yeah. Don : You know? Celine : Yeah, I know what you mean. Don : Like grape skin. You know when you bite
on grape skin, and it’s got that tangy taste, which is different to the taste of the flesh
of the grapes. That tang is persistent. [SIPS TEA] Celine : [SIPS TEA] Oh yeah. Sorry, I really
wanted you to pour it, because I wanted to taste that tang, and like the moment you taste
it it’s like there. Don : It’s grape skin, isn’t it? Green grape
skin. Celine : Green grape skin. MmmHmm. Don : That dryness, and then the tang. Celine : Yeah, definitely it’s that. Yeah,
sometimes I take off the skin of the grapes just because I want to have just the juice,
but I eat some of the skin, and it’s true. It’s that tang. Don : You peel grapes. Celine : Okay. Not often. Don : She peels grapes. [SIPS TEA] Celine : Just when I’m feel like indulgent
in juice. Don : [I don’t have the patience] to peel
grapes. Celine : Yeah. It’s kind of meditative. You
know? Don : I quite like the tang. I quite like,
[also], that astringent little dryness. Celine : Again, I don’t do it every day. [laughter] Don : You’re in comfort mode. [TO CELINE]
Show them what’s on your feet. Celine : Oh God. He always laughs at these. Don : Just show them. Like, she looks all
stylish up here. No, no, go on then. Celine : I cán’t move my foot now. Don : All right. Just show them. Celine : I’m not so yoga-ready. Don : Here, I’ll show them. Look. Look at
that. That’s what she’s wearing underneath the table here. Celine : [laughter] God. You guys are not
meant to see this. Oh well. Don : [SIPS TEA] Okay. so summaries. Definitely,
definitely, the finish on this, and the physicality on this, is the strongest. This is medium,
and this is the least. Celine : This is the what? Don : This is the least, in the terms of the
finish. This is the cleanest finish; the most simple sweet finish. [With] this one we get
some tang – more of that baked apple, brown butter tang. And [with] this one here I’m
getting distinct grape skin, sappy, aloe vera tang to it. I’m also getting that starchiness,
and I’m also getting those flowers, for sure. Celine : Yeah. It definitely lingers much
longer on the palate. Don : Yeah. Yeah. And if you breathe out through
your nose [there’s] a real tang to it. I love that. Celine : Look at those leaves, though. It
is very different in color. You guys probably see it. Don : Okay. Let’s take a look at the “eyes
wet leaf”. [It’s] definitely a lot more yellow, this one, isn’t it? Celine : Yeah. Don : Thís one’s a lot more yellow. This
one is the most green, and this one is in between. Celine : Yeah. Don : Now I’m not trying to say that this
is a bad tea, this is a medium tea, [and] this is a good tea, right? Actually, I think
that they’re all great in their own ways. This is definitely a more simple tea, but
the taste is spot on, and in terms of affordability you could grab yourself a pouch of this and
be very happily sipping on Tie Guan Yin more regularly. Celine : Yeah. Don : This one here – “Batch 54” – definitely
something weird is happening in this batch. I don’t know what they’ve done, because Ben
Shan, as I said, is normally that milky, more Jin Shuan-like. Celine : Oh, yeah! Don : Remember when we went to An Xi? It’s
got a little bit more of a simple taste to it. [With] this one here they’ve somehow done
something to break out those coconuty notes – coconut, electrolytes, and tropical fruits;
pomelo, sago pudding, a bit of sourness from baked apples, [and] a little bit of sorrel. Celine : Yeah. So maybe they’re doing a bit
of processing like in Taiwan, bringing out more of those creamy notes. Don : I think that – my guess of what they’ve
done here – is that they’ve treated this one… Like you know how we have Soursop, and they
leave it for longer, in terms of the amount of water in the leaf, in order to boost up
those sour notes? Celine : Right. Don : I think that they’ve done that, and
they’ve inadvertently stumbled upon [making] something that tastes very tropical – like
pineappley and mangoey. Because it’s that [slightly] tangy fruit going on. Celine : Oh, so you’re saying they used a
similar way of Soursop, but for a different cultivar, and therefore it’s got a different…? Don : Yeah. That would be my guess. Celine : That would be clever, though. Don : But they’re not telling me. Then this
one here is the most classic Tie Guan Yin taste, but very, very rich. [It’s] really
rich. You can feel this juiciness coming out of the mouth. You can feel this texture. I’m
going to guess that the empty cup is going to have the strongest aroma. Let’s quickly
give it a sniff. Celine : Thank you. Don : [SMELLS TEA] I think… Yeah, it’s definitely
got more of the sourness in the aroma of the empty cup, but it’s more like… Okay, so
if that one was coconut suntan lotion, and this was coconut cream, this is those young
coconuts… you know those young, green coconut jelly cubes in yoghurt. I don’t know if you’ve
ever had those; [that] young coconut yoghurt. Celine : Yeah. Don : [SMELLS TEA] Yeah, okay. So there’s
a coconut theme going on here. Celine : There’s definitely a coconut theme,
which I love, by the way. Don : But [there’s] definitely the juiciness
on this – tons and tons of juiciness going on in my mouth, for sure. Okay, let’s do something
here. Celine : What are you doing? Don : I know. Normally you do this after several
infusions, right? Celine : Oh! I do love that! [laughter] Don : Let’s just see these little mounds of
leaves. It gives you a better… Celine : Tea mountains. Don : … depiction of the leaf as well. Celine : Oh! I know what you’re doing! Don : You know what I’m doing. I’m checking
the “squigibility”. Celine : “Squigibility”. [That’s] so scientific.
[The] “squigibility” of the leaves. Don : Yeah. [The] “squigibility” of the leaves.
So one of the things that they do in An Xi, after they’ve brewed – and really, you should
do this after some infusions – is just give these a little squig. You can squig that one. Celine : Oh yeah. Don : And see how bouncy they are. Yeah, [they’re]
pretty bouncy, but try that one. Celine : Oh yeah, this bounces more. Don : Yeah. That definitely has a bit more
firm bounciness to it. And that one? Celine : [laughter] This is funny. Ooh! This
one… Don : This still feels rigid, doesn’t it? Celine : Yeah, but it feels more like fluffy. Don : Yeah. It feels like thicker. Celine : Yeah. Don : So what ýou’re also seeing here is
the fact that these leaves look a bit more thin. Celine : Oh yeah. Don : … [and] a little bit more fragile.
These leaves definitely look the most lush and robust. Again, this one in the middle.
So I’m going to guess that you’re going to get a lot more infusions out of this one here.
[You can feel] it as well. It feels like the leaves [have hardly] hydrated at all. Celine : That’s true. It feels like paper,
almost, like crinkle. Don : Yeah. Yeah. So there’s a lot more going
on in terms of potential extractions from there, I would say. Okay, final thoughts?
Favorites? What do you think about them? Celine : Definitely, this one was the one
that surprised me the most, because of that [nutty] water. Don : Yeah. “Batch 54”. [SIPS TEA] Celine : The concept worked. Don : I’m sure they only did five batches,
but anyway. “Batch 54”, okay. Celine : “Batch 54” is the most surprising.
This one [is]… What are we calling it? “Golden Flower”? Don : This is “Golden Flower”. Yeah. Celine : [It’s] like delicious, and I think
as an everyday tea it’s great. Don : Yeah. [It’s a nice], sweet everyday
tea. You could drink that very happily, and not break the bank. Celine : [It has a] very nice, sweet aftertaste,
and a little bit of a toasty thing going on, which I like. But this one is very intriguing.
I feel like I want to explore it more, but I think that’s going to be more of an occasional,
special tea style. Don : Mmm. [For me], this one is the most
complex in taste. Celine : Yeah. Don : That doesn’t mean it’s the best the
best. It depends on what you feel like. This is simple sweet and toasty. This is tropical
fruits, [like] coconut. [And] this one has a bit more of a wide range palette of flavors.
Which one does “Pretzel” want to sit on? Celine : [laughter] “Pretzel”? Don : I think he wants the softer. He wants
to have like bed down, [and] not have too much spring going on. There you go. “Pretzel”
is now sitting upon the mound. That’s it guys. These are the Tie Guan Yin [selections]. They
have just come out, [and] they are available online. You can check them out. You can certainly
do the horizontal tasting yourself. Celine : Yeah. Don : It’s a great way to learn how cultivar
affects the taste of tea. Celine : It’s quite amazing. It’s quite amazing. Don : That’s it teaheads! If you made it to
the end of this video then make sure you hit it with a “like”. Follow us on all of our
socials so that you don’t miss out on any news and videos from Mei Leaf HQ. If you’re
ever in London then go and visit her… Celine : [laughter] Don : Get her to serve you tea. If I’m around
say “Hi”… Celine : Definitely. Don : … and you can taste our wares. If
you have any questions, comments, or video ideas then please fire them over. Other than
that, keep drinking the good stuff, people. Stay away from those tea bags… Don and Celine : … and spread the word… Don : … because nobody deserves bad tea. Don and Celine: Bye [WAVING]

28 thoughts on “TEA CULTIVAR SHOWDOWN for a famous Chinese Oolong

  1. Always great video. Thanks for the good continuity, I am always looking forward to the next. Can anyone recommend me some tea courses/ tours/ places to visit? I want to travel to learn more about it.

  2. drinking the last of last year's Superior Iron Goddess Batch while watching and after I go for rock oolong tasting…oolongs all day ;-). I get what Celine means with the butter milky taste, I get butter milk biscuits and lilac

  3. It is delightful to watch the different aspects of tcha affect Celine in a manner that she associates with happy life experiences and Don's astute and concise knowledge of the tea world.
    Cheers!

  4. So i have been wondering this for over a year now, is there a reason you always pour the tea out of the presentation sauce from the large end like at 6:25. It always made sense to me to use the tapered side as it was like a funnel. Have I been "using" it backwards?

  5. I think I've had a beer, a whiskey, and a barbecue sauce, each named "Batch 54." Sounds like an interesting tea, however many batches it really took.

  6. I've been drinking Guan Yin TGY while watching this video. I've tried several TGYs before but this one is probably my favourite. The interplay of thick but soft and velvety texture is fantastic. Nothing beats the complexity of an oolong.

  7. When you have a "Superior X" tea, are those ones you try to stock every year? If so, are you looking for the exact same profile when you source them?

  8. Superior Iron Goddess 17 was my epiphany moment – absolutely loved it. Golden Yolk as well. I didn’t like the very sour versions like sour sap or sip spring that much, the astringent sour in the aftertaste disturbed me. Can’t wait to try the 2018 batches- my Bambi will probably land on SIG again πŸ˜‰πŸ΅πŸƒπŸƒπŸƒβœ¨πŸ€—β€οΈ Great video

  9. I LOVE Pretzel, Thank You for naming him that, and I love TeGuan Yin and I love YOU! LOL. So great. I'm drinking with this vid. Always a lot to glean from your commentary.

  10. Hey Don! I have a quick question. How long do you let boiling water cool before you steep green tea, white, and oolong?

  11. They all sound like Yammie, I’m especially curious to taste the Batch 54! @Celine; I also peel my grapes at times πŸ˜‰

  12. Batch 54 is code! .. Numerology .. 54 .. i.e. 5+4 = 9 .. 9 is Consciousness .. in this case .. Higher Consciousness .. Tea is a means of raising one's Consciousness to that of Divine Consciousness .. πŸ’— πŸ˜‰ Xx #MyCupItRunethOverWithLooseLeafTea

  13. Hey Don, is there a video that explains the differences between Tie Guan Yin vs Taiwanese (High Mountain) Oolong? Greetings from Indonesia!

  14. Anyone else get strong Cha-Qi from some Oolongs?
    I've tried a Hong Shui variant that made me quite relaxed and heavy

  15. Pretty cool to do the tasting while following the video, took me a few months to get the 3 teas and some time but it's worth it!

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