Sunday, July 03, 2011

Ten Ren Tea Ten Li (Tianli) Tea Review

Ten Ren's Ten Li (Tianli) tea is an excellent Taiwanese green oolong tea. The tea leaves are tightly rolled, and are unbroken with no stems. The aroma is fragrant with a vegetal character. The color of the steeped tea is a pale golden yellow-green. The taste of the tea is vegetal and very smooth, with the slightest astringent character. It has a very good and complex oolong tea flavor, and even seems to have a mouth watering savory taste. The tea was good for about three steepings. I tried a 0.32 oz. sampler, and I think the only negative thing there is to say about this tea is that it does carry a high price. Other than that, Ten Li is an excellent oolong tea. 

Rating: **** ½

Here's an excerpt from Ten Ren's website.

Tianli is TenRen's most unique and highest quality Oolong. Grown in the Li Mountains of Taiwan, this tea is harvested at the highest elevation of 1200 meters in an isolated area. Due to the cold weather and relatively harsh environment, the plants grow at a very slow rate and in small quantities. The tea is either harvested during the winter or summer and sometimes only once during the entire year. After the harvest, the leaves are carefully handled and aerated during the long ride to the nearest tea master. Despite the difficult growing conditions, the leaves are selected as the highest quality of Oolong. This casnister comes in a satin lined green gift box. The steeped tea has a pale yellow-green color matching its faint fresh scent. Once tasted, the tea presents itself with a fresh taste followed by a sweet smooth aftertaste.

The water used to steep this tea should be about 185-195°F or 85-90°C. Use about 2 teaspoons (3 grams) of tea leaves for about every 5 ounces (150 milliliters) of water. A steeping time of about 3-5 minutes is recommended with more or less time depending on the desired concentration. As a rough guide, the higher the temperature of the water or the greater the amount of leaves used, the shorter the steeping time should be. The tea leaves should uncurl for full flavor. For the ultimate enjoyment, a traditional Chinese Yixing teapot is recommended for loose oolong tea. The teapot should be half filled with leaves and initially steeped for 45 seconds to 1 minute with the steeping time increased by an additional 15 seconds for each successive steeping. The leaves may be steeped multiple times.

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