A young monk once asked the wise tea master Lao Cha
Shifu, why is Tie Guan Yin such a famous tea? Why does everyone love it?
– It's because it takes a real tea master to produce this tea. The leaves have to go through so many steps: tossing, roasting, rolling, etc. But once it's ready – oh, how good it tastes! Try this one – it's so light and floral. It tastes like late spring itself.
Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea is produced by implementing the heavy tossing procedure and pan-frying at moderate temperatures. This unique technique makes Oolong tea form its signature green leaves with red edges. "Tieguanyin" is the name of tea and the name of the tea trees variety, and it is a prominent representative of the Fujian oolong tea taste. It is also one of the varieties used to create another famous oolong tea, Huang Guan Yin. The main production area of Tie Guan Yin lies in the western parts of "inner Anxi" - a county of the municipal region of Quanzhou. Clouds and mists surround the stretches of peaks and ridges in this part of southern Fujian province.
Compared to other Chinese teas, the making process of Tie Guan Yin is the most complicated, and the heavy tossing (yaoqing) is the most critical step. It is the vital stage to form the Guan Yin Yun (观音韵) - a signature combination of bright orchid fragrance and sweet, nectary taste that makes this tea unique and has earned it a spot among the top ten famous teas in China.
This traditional Anxi Tie Guan Yin, made by tea master Zhou Jin Fa, is sweet, mellow, and creamy. Its long-lasting lingering taste will make you crave more.
Master Zhou Jin Fa rolling Tie Guan Yin
There are quite a few legends about this tea's name and origin. They have in common that the tea trees are all related to Guanyin Bodhisattva, hence the word "Guanyin" in the tea name. There are two explanations for the word "iron": one is that the leaves of the tea tree flicker in the sun with an "iron-colored" light. The other is that after the tea is fermented, it is "brown (black) as iron". A popular legend tells about a tea farmer in Anxi's Songyan village. For decades, he would serve a cup of tea in front of the Guanyin Bodhisattva every morning and evening. One night he fell sound asleep. In his dream, he saw himself coming out of the house carrying a hoe. On his way, he discovered a tree with strong branches, luxuriant leaves, and an attractive fragrance. It was different from any tea tree he had ever seen before. The next morning he followed his dream's path and discovered this tea tree. Overjoyed, he dug out the bush and planted it in a small iron cauldron at home. Because he obtained this tea from Guanyin in a dream, he named it "Tie Guan Yin".
200℉ / 95℃
1g per 50ml 3-5min
1g per 20ml 10sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion
Nice sweet, light tea. Love TGY.
With no regard to processing methods, to me this tea is like a "green oolong": the grassy yet floral taste reminds me heavily of some green teas I've had, and the substantial golden liquor that's a bit more reminiscent of an oolong even has a hint of green in it. For this reason and since this tea is not so fussy in regards to temperature, I actually would recommend that all green tea lovers have some of this in their arsenal for a nice low-maintenance cup of tea.
Along with high temperatures, this tea can also withstand more infusions than most- I've been getting at least 10!
Awesome oolong tea. I've been drinking it every day since I got it. The taste is refreshing, a little floral, and has a good amount of sweetness to it.
Easy to brew and OK with high temperatures so I don't nead to worry when I'm brewing "on the go".
I want to give it 5 starts, but 4 stars because sometimes I find the taste is not special enough when I'm looking for something more exciting.
If you are used to or like strong, floral, aromatic oolongs this particular tea can be underwhelming. It had a fresh taste but not enough character.
This oolong is very refreshing although overall I am more accustomed to the taste of heavy-roasted Taiwanese TGY. I haven't been able to get used to this one quite yet. I do like the sweetness of it and find it to be an easy tea to drink throughout the day.