Help Identifying Oolong?


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Help Identifying Oolong?

Postby Devoted135 » Mar 21st, '13, 22:09

A Chinese co-worker of mine who isn't really into tea gave me this box a while back. She googled the name and came up with Tie Kuan Yin, but couldn't tell me anything other than that about it.

It's lightly oxidized and has a grassy flavor profile. I'm guessing it's just supermarket quality oolong, but I'm wondering if there is any other interesting info on the box? Thanks!

Sorry for the crappy phone pictures...
Image
Oolong box by Devoted135, on Flickr

Image
Oolong box by Devoted135, on Flickr

Image
Oolong box by Devoted135, on Flickr
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Re: Help Identifying Oolong?

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 22nd, '13, 00:38

On the front of the box, the top two characters are: 回甘=hui2 gan1= "dry", likely meaning repeated tanin/dry flavor and has to do with the taste/aftertaste/finish of tea. Basically it implies the tea will give continued dry, "gam gam", tannin, tea throat, essence, aftertaste. You'll see that term used across the forum here to refer to tea, specifically oolong/tie guanyin teas.

The middle of the front of the box, above the picture says, "觀音王“=guan1 yin1 wang2= This could be the name of the tea but the "guanyin" part is what you recognize in “鐵觀音”=tie guanyin, like the tea name/method/type of tea. The three characters could be saying, since 王="king", that it's the king of tie guanyin teas or it could be just the name of the tea.

The back of the box is written in ”草寫“ (cao2 xie3)a form of 書法 (shu1 fa3) calligraphy. This style is purposely loose and whimsical and meant more to convey the spirit/essence of the meaning and of the calligrapher and the characters written than it is to be easily readable. It conveys its meaning through the fluid movement and loose use of the written forms. Thus, not being a native Mandarin speaker, it is very hard for me to read. I can make out characters but can't piece enough of them together to give you the full meaning. My wife, whom is Taiwanese, took a crack and it is even hard for her to read.

The writing seems to be poetic and moves from right to left, going down. She can make out an implication of snow and cold; the character for "Dao" (道) is in there, etc....

The bottom of the back of the box reads: "新明制罐“=xin1 ming2 zhi4 guan4=packaged by "Zhi Guan"

Sorry I can't be more help.

I can't see clearly from the picture you posted of the brewed leaf but the leaves definitely have the rough outer profile of tie guan yin tea.
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Re: Help Identifying Oolong?

Postby Evan Draper » May 22nd, '13, 16:38

Gotta love babelcarp.org on this one:
Guan1 Yin1 Wang2 (Guan1 Yin1 Wang2) = (观音王 or 觀音王) a bit of Chinese tea advertising as common, and likely as accurate, as “world's best cup of coffee”: King of Tieguanyin


TGY has two main origin myths, and one of them involves a guy named 王 (Wang, or "king"). So using 王 in your marketing has the bonus of insinuating that you are drinking tea from the original mother bush from the 18th century.

I think I've heard people claim that "Guan Yin Wang" refers to a specific style, but I doubt that. It's probably just correlative, given that the opportunistic kind of people making greener style TGY would also use the Wang name. Does the "snow and ice" refer to the air-conditioning used in manufacture?
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Re: Help Identifying Oolong?

Postby 茶藝-TeaArt08 » May 22nd, '13, 23:37

Just watching t.v. commercials in Taiwan one sees 王 get attached to all kinds of things. I have no idea about that tea, having no experience with it and having never seen the packaging before.

Evan,

I've never been exposed to babelcarp until reading it in your post...interesting tool. I read/speak/write Mandarin but it does get rusty living back here in California, even with us speaking it in the house and among certain friends. That's a great tool; thanks for the connection.

Sidenote: I was reading the "Water: It *is* important. (a test w/ TGY)" post, which is an ongoing deep study for me and appreciate the link you put up for the book Fine Waters by Mascha. I ordered it and read up on him; I am looking forward to the book. We just, the prior weekend, drove up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to visit a private, publicly available, mountain spring there to collect water in sealed glass carafes for tea. In my opinion not enough attention is paid to water, among the many tea variables, and we are fortunate here to have some great tap water and access to mountain creeks and springs. I also gather the rain in bowls on the second morning of a cold storm, filter it, and put it in sealed glass carafes in the refrigerator for tea. It's surprisingly good and has its own unique quality...it's very charged/alive.
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Re: Help Identifying Oolong?

Postby amaranto » May 23rd, '13, 18:00

I've never been exposed to babelcarp until reading it in your post . . .


What a neat resource! Thanks for sharing, Evan.
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