Unexpected Free Tea Sample Fun!

This came quite unexpectedly in the mail last night!

the teasI had totally forgotten that I had signed up for some free tea samples from the April Tea Industry Company, or AprTea. Their name refers to the first plucking in the spring because, as their website puts it:

Tea in April means “the best tea.”

This Chinese tea—unfortunately misspelled as “Chinese Stlye Tea”—on their packaging, comes from Anxi in Fujian Province, and was produced this past spring.

So with eight samples, where to start?!

My family and I went with the name—selecting the intriguing “Tieguanyin Charcoal baking Flower aroma Grade one” (铁观音 tiě guān yīn), an oolong.

The tightly rolled leaves (which are not fully uniform in size, although you can’t tell in my photo) are lustrous, mostly in shades of dark green.


measuring_smThe aroma of the leaves is slightly sweet, a bit bright and slightly vegetal, with a toasty note from the wok, and reminds us of straw.

Our first brew was a very light, clear, golden hue, with a toasty hay aroma.

1st brew

As with many oolongs, we preferred the stronger second brew, which was a more pronounced golden yellow color.

2nd brew

To me, the flavor is a bit green or vegetal, with a predominate toasty flavor—but green rather than dark toasted. There is a pleasant lingering, slightly sweet, toasty note.

As to the name of this tea, it seems the “charcoal baking” accounts for the toastiness and the “flower aroma” the hint of sweetness.

Having enjoyed this oolong, I look forward to trying the rest of the samples. Thank you, AprTea!

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