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The Story of Anxi Tie Guan Yin Tea

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

Tie Guanyin (s 铁观音;) is a premium variety of Chinese oolong tea associated with Anxi in Fujian province. Tie Guanyin produced in different areas of Anxi have different characteristics. The tea is also produced in Nantou, Taiwan with much success, as well as Anxi, Fujian.

Wang was a scholar who accidentally discovered the tea plant beneath the Guanyin rock in Xiping. He brought the plant back home for cultivation. When he visited Emperor Qianlong in the 6th year of his reign, he offered the tea as a gift from his native village. Emperor Qianlong was so impressed that he inquired about its origin. Since the tea was discovered beneath the Guanyin Rock, he decided to call it the Guanyin tea.

Descendants of the Wang Clan in east China's Anxi County, Fujian Province have been cultivating and trading the famous Tieguanyin tea for hundreds of years. Beginning with the ancestor who discovered Tieguanyin in 1736, Wang Wenli is of the 13th generation. Over 100 years ago, his great great grandfather introduced Tieguanyin to Southeast Asia. Today, Wang Wenli is aiming broader afield.

The processing of Tie Guanyin tea (TGY) is complex and requires expertise. Even if the tea leaf is of high raw quality, and is plucked at the ideal time, if it is not processed correctly its true character will not be shown.

1.plucking tea leaves.(cai qing)

2.sun withering. (shai qing)

3.cooling. (liang qing)

4.tossing. (yao qing)

5.withering, this includes some oxidation. (wei diao)

6.fixation. (sha qing)

7.rolling. (rou nian)

8.drying. (hong gan)

After drying some teas go through the added processes of roasting and scenting.

Although a good balance of taste and aroma is obtainable using standard infusion parameters, the best way to enjoy a fine bouquet Tieguanyin is to put in a few times the tealeaves for a shorter infusion. A really fine one would give you a round, intense aroma with a velvety liquor of tinkling sensation. For a 150 ml taster’s mug or, better yet, a 140 ml gaiwan, begin experimenting with 8 g of tea with 95°C water for one to one and a half minutes. You can try your way up to 12 g, but the selection has to be really fine in order for this tea to water ratio to work.

A traditional thoroughly browned Tieguanyin, on the other hand, can be quite hardened by the firing and needs a lot of time to open up for a full body. Some people would blanch the tea an additional time instead, while others would smash a few kernels and bury the debris amongst whole kernels for quicker, but not over, release of taste.

Anxi‬ town has the most well-known Tea Farms in China and Anxi Tieguanyin tea is classicfied as one of the Top 10 Chinese Teas.

The tea leaves are curly, almost ball-like. The color is a dark brownish green. Once brewed, the liquid of good Tieguanyin should be a beautiful amber color while inferior tea yields a dark brown color. Speaking of the flavor, Tieguanyin is arguably the most naturally aromatic Chinese tea. It has a penetrating floral scent but well balanced by a slightly bitter taste which morphs into a sweet aftertaste. The complexities in the flavor are what set Tieguanyin apart as the tea connoisseurs’ tea. There are two types of Tieguanyin based on the type of aroma: intense and refreshing, a good description of its respective aromatic feature.

Good Tieguanyin keeps its flavor well into the seventh or eighth brew, making it a perfect companion of contemplation and meditation.

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