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) and the distinctive floral fragrance of Tie Guan Yin that makes it unique and has earned him 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".
205℉ / 95℃
1g per 50ml 3-5min
1g per 20ml 10sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion