Tie Guan Yin Oolong
Changkeng, Anxi, Fujian, China
Another classic Chinese tea, Tie Guan Yin is a must-have for any tea drinkers cupboard. Put the beautiful bright green dry leaves into your warm brewing vessel and you'll be delighted by an aroma of buttery scones, but once brewed this tea is fresh and grassy. Further steeps reveal a subtle nuttiness.
Curious about the name? Like many Chinese teas, there's a story- 'tie' means 'iron', and Guan Yin is the name of a Buddhist bodhisattva or deity- the goddess of compassion. The legend says that outside a small village in Anxi, along a lesser-used road, there was small shrine with an iron statue of Guan Yin that had fallen into disrepair. An old man in the village took it upon himself to honour the goddess and over the years kept the shrine tidy. One day, he was surprised when the goddess spoke to him, and told him that in repayment for his dedication, there was a gift just outside the shrine. There, the old man found a tea bush that would yield the leaves that make this beautiful oolong.
Gongfu style: 80°C water, 5g tea to 100ml water. 1st steep: 20 seconds, then add 5 seconds each subsequent steep.
Western style: 80°C water, 1-2g tea to 100ml water. (This is approx. 1 tablespoon for a large mug.) 1st steep: 2 minutes, then add 30 seconds for each subsequent steep.