Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin


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

Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby Joel Byron » Mar 9th, '13, 22:05

I'm referring to the greener style oolong which I am more familiar with. I'm assuming that the Taiwanese growers are using Ti Guan Yin cultivars transplanted from China. I haven't tried enough of both types to know what the differences are, what say you TeaChatters?
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby Oni » Mar 25th, '13, 07:28

Muzha TGY is like old style from anxy, dark like chocolate, more oxidized, nowdays in Anxi they prefer grener lighter floral oolongs, not the high fired ones, but lately some growers use TGY cultivar for high mountain oolong, that is greener less oxidized and made like any other high moutain oolong,
Image
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Anxi TGY has the stems removed like shown in the picture, and taiwanese high mountain oolong have a whole leaf system with stems on, that changes the flavour a bit, but I heard that competition grade oolongs have no stems and are made like anxi tgy with stems and tips removed manually.
As of flavour the high mountain tgy from taiwan (Li Shan TGY) has the caracteristics of any hm oolong, buttery veggie protein, oily coats the mouth, but not as heavy on hui gan and aroma as anxi tgy, which is intensly floral and you can feel the aroma in your nose when you drink it but it is lighter not as thick as taiwanese tea.
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby Tead Off » Mar 26th, '13, 04:50

For me, it is similar to comparing Thai oolongs which are Taiwan cultivars grown in Thailand to Taiwanese grown oolongs grown in Taiwan. There is none. Everything is different. Some similarities. A Pinot grown on the west coast of USA compared to the terroir of Bourgogne, will not be the same. But, they have made great strides in wine production outside of their countries of origin. So there does exist some excellent Pinots in other places besides France. I don't think the tea industry has caught up yet.
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby ethan » Mar 26th, '13, 09:53

Tead Off, you say "Everything is different. Some similarities."
I think I know what you mean, but it might not be clear to all. I'll try to help:

The green oolongs from Thailand have characteristics of green oolongs from Taiwan, but Thai tea is just not as good overall & much of it is awful. Nonetheless, a year ago I found an organic "red" oolong (> than a little oxidation) that I drink everyday, & this February I found a green oolong whose aroma rivals a wonderful bouquet of flowers & gives unique flavor good for breaking routine (not quite rose, lavendar, jasmine, etc.) = good tea.

Unfortunately, tea-business in Thailand is difficult for the consumer. E.g., the flowery tea that I like, had no name on the packet. The vendor that sold it to me does not receive it in the same packaging every order. Prices asked (not paid by me) were high.
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby Tead Off » Mar 26th, '13, 10:36

ethan wrote:Tead Off, you say "Everything is different. Some similarities."
I think I know what you mean, but it might not be clear to all. I'll try to help:

The green oolongs from Thailand have characteristics of green oolongs from Taiwan, but Thai tea is just not as good overall & much of it is awful. Nonetheless, a year ago I found an organic "red" oolong (> than a little oxidation) that I drink everyday, & this February I found a green oolong whose aroma rivals a wonderful bouquet of flowers & gives unique flavor good for breaking routine (not quite rose, lavendar, jasmine, etc.) = good tea.

Unfortunately, tea-business in Thailand is difficult for the consumer. E.g., the flowery tea that I like, had no name on the packet. The vendor that sold it to me does not receive it in the same packaging every order. Prices asked (not paid by me) were high.

'Some similarities' was meant by my description of wine cultivation of the same cultivar but different terroir.
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby ethan » Mar 26th, '13, 11:51

Yes, TO, I did let loose a lot of talk w/o getting what you said really right.
And, the original post is not about Thai vs. Taiwanese but Chinese vs. Taiwanese. So, ... hope sense of humor gets us through.
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby John Delaney » May 4th, '13, 13:15

Joel Byron wrote:I'm referring to the greener style oolong which I am more familiar with. I'm assuming that the Taiwanese growers are using Ti Guan Yin cultivars transplanted from China. I haven't tried enough of both types to know what the differences are, what say you TeaChatters?

I haven't had a chance to try them yet but I believe
Ali Shan and Dong Ding are rolled in a similar manner to Ti Guan Yin. I believe this will lead to a similar vegetal taste. Dong Ding is said to have a lemony taste and Ali Shan is said to be one of the creamiest and has a floral array of gardenias, lilac and notes of sugar, citrus like a key lime pie. You might also want to checkout Baozhong. It seems to be one of the least oxidized so I would assume have a strong vegetal taste as well. The difference here is that it is not rolled like the others and is instead coiled because it is so delicate. My understanding is that BaoZhong and Dong Dig are said to be the most famous Taiwanese oolongs.

I also am looking forward to trying all these out very soon so once I do I will give a full report.
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby rhondabee » May 4th, '13, 17:35

Here is a link to a listing of the most common oolong tea cultivars in Taiwan:

http://houdeasianart.com/download/Oolong_Species.pdf

As far as I know, the only Ti Guan Yin tea commonly grown in Taiwan is the the Muzha TGY referred to in an earlier post. It is a much more oxidized/roasted tasting oolong.

The only Taiwanese green oolong that tastes similar to an Anxi Ti Guan Yin oolong (green style) is Baozhong oolong. They both have that bright green scent and taste. The high mountain Taiwanese oolongs (Alishan, Lishan, Shan Lin Xi, Da Yu Ling) taste totally different, because they have unique and complex scent and taste that I guess comes from growing at high elevations. I prefer Taiwanese high mountain tea (gaoshan).

So if you really like the green style Chinese Ti Guan Yin, you will probably enjoy Taiwanese Baozhong (sometimes spelled Pouchong) oolong.
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby ABx » May 11th, '13, 06:01

rhondabee wrote:Here is a link to a listing of the most common oolong tea cultivars in Taiwan:

http://houdeasianart.com/download/Oolong_Species.pdf

As far as I know, the only Ti Guan Yin tea commonly grown in Taiwan is the the Muzha TGY referred to in an earlier post. It is a much more oxidized/roasted tasting oolong.

The only Taiwanese green oolong that tastes similar to an Anxi Ti Guan Yin oolong (green style) is Baozhong oolong. They both have that bright green scent and taste. The high mountain Taiwanese oolongs (Alishan, Lishan, Shan Lin Xi, Da Yu Ling) taste totally different, because they have unique and complex scent and taste that I guess comes from growing at high elevations. I prefer Taiwanese high mountain tea (gaoshan).

So if you really like the green style Chinese Ti Guan Yin, you will probably enjoy Taiwanese Baozhong (sometimes spelled Pouchong) oolong.

The different growing environment definitely creates some differences, but production techniques are going to play a large role as well. Taiwanese tea masters are going to have a different set of standards about what characteristics make a good tea, and they're going to adjust their production methods to accentuate/bring out those characteristics. The picking standards, for a start; the stem left in the Taiwanese tea probably makes a somewhat significant difference.

Every producer is going to be somewhat different, though. What I've generally noticed is that the Taiwanese wulong tends to go for a more clean, pure, round tea; fresh tea brewed right can often give me the sensation of a large pearl in the middle of my tongue with a taste that reminds you of bright, fresh green tea leaf (i.e., vegetal aspects).

Anxi tends to be a bit more warm and soft with a mouth-feel that seems to melt into the tongue, and an aroma that offers more of the "peacock display" of floral notes that is typical of TGY.

Overall I would say that the Taiwanese tend to go for complexity in how the tea changes from smell, to taste, to finish, to aftertaste (with each being relatively humble), while the Chinese like a little more up-front complexity. That's not to say that they don't both have these characteristics; it's just what each seem to accentuate a bit more.

Really, though, I've gotten a lot of different TGY over the years (I probably have a dozen on my shelf now; mostly darker roast), and they're probably all equally different.
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Re: Comparing Chinese and Taiwanese Ti Guan Yin

Postby chrl42 » Aug 7th, '13, 06:10

Yeah, they brought original TGY bushes from Anxi, planted in Taiwan Muzha area, hence the name Muzha TGY. Around early 20 c.

One thing proud about Taiwan is, unlike China, they have pretty strict policy regarding tea industry..I heard Muzha TGY is one of very few TGY left that is still made in old style. Traditional TGY requires more delicate procedure than traditional Rock Tea. And it could mean practice of rolling leaves was already prevalent in early-ROC (older TGY was an imitation of the Rock Tea) :)
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