OLD TRADITIONS | CHARCOAL ROASTED, HEIRLOOM TIE GUANYIN
Notes of freshly baked buns and dried fruit: old school magic. These leaves are to modern Anxi oolong what wood oven, heirloom wheat tomato and basil pizza is to the pies delivered by most motorbikes in North America.
This tea's appearance is more reminiscent of the highly oxidized teas of Wuyi Mountain.
What is Tie Guanyin (Iron Goddess of Mercy)?
Tie Guanyin (Iron Guanyin, or Buddhist Goddess of Mercy | 鐵觀音) is one of most famous oolong teas in China; it is originally from Anxi, in Southern Fujian Province. The tea is also very popular among Cantonese people.
There are several levels of oxidization available for this tea, from very green (flowery flavour) to highly oxidized (ideally charcoal fired, and much warmer in energy).
Traditionally, Tie Guanyin was crafted only using it's eponymous cultivar (鐵觀音). These days, many of the teas grown in the Anxi region and labeled as Tie Guanyin are often created with other cultivars. These include:
- Mao Xie (毛蟹), translated as 'hairy crab'. This cultivar has high yields but (in our experience) may not have the same complexity of flavours as the heirloom.
- Ben Shan (本山) is another very old cultivar from the Anxi region that can also develop some very interesting aromas.
Old vs. New | What Makes this Tea Special?
In the late 1970's and early 1980's Taiwan was quickly modernizing its tea industry; rolling tea leaves into tight 'pearls' was one of the innovations that quickly became very popular. When dealing with lightly oxidized, bright and floral high mountain oolongs, tightly rolled tea presented two advantages: it provided some protection against oxidization and it enabled more efficient transportation (since tight pearl occupy less space and are less brittle).Fortunately for us, a few stubborn old folks have preserved the old ways too!
TYPE Oolong Tea ORIGIN Huqiu Zhen, Anxi, Fujian, China GPS 25.5ºN 118.1ºE TASTING NOTES Baked buns and dried fruit GROWER
Chen Family CULTIVAR Tie Guanyin 鐵觀音
WATER 95ºC | 100ml TEA 6g STEEP 15" (rinse); 10" (1st & 2nd steeps); 15" (subsequent)
SUN 12:00PM - 7:00PMMON - THURS 12:00PM - 6:00PMFRI - SAT 12:00PM - 8:00PM
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