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No. 93 - Ti Kuan Yin "Iron Goddess of Mercy" Tea

Quick Overview

A distinctive light cup that has hints of orchid-like flavor. Excellent for quiet moments.

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Details

Oolong tea is semi fermented which is one of the reasons it has such a unique character. The semi fermentation gives the tea a little bit more body than a green tea but less body than a black tea... and interestingly it gives the flavor a very unique twist. You will see (particularly in the infused leaf) that the edges of the leaves are slightly bruised (brownish). The reason for this is that the leaves are lightly bruised to start the oxidation process. Because they are more full bodied than green teas, oolong teas must not be picked too early or at too tender a stage. They must be produced immediately. Unlike leaves for green tea, those destined to be oolong are wilted in the direct sun and then shaken in tubular bamboo baskets to bruise the leaf edges. The bruising is what makes the edges oxidize faster than the center. After 15-25 minutes (depending upon ambient temperature and humidity levels) the tea is fired, locking in the special flavor profile.

There are several grades of Ti Kuan Yin a.k.a "Iron Goddess of Mercy". This particular type is the premium grade - below the superior grade but has many of the characteristics of top Ti Kuan Yin Oolongs. It has been written that Ti Kuan Yin is at first bitter, then sweet and finishes with a fragrance, which lingers on your palate. We find this particular grade is sweet with a fragrant finish and has no bitter notes.

The name Iron Goddess of Mercy came from a farmer named Mr. Wei. At the temple dedicated to Kuan Yin he was asked what is the name of his special tea. It must be called Ti Kuan Yin in honor of the iron statue to Kuan Yin he replied. As the name was a good one, it has never been changed.

Additional Information

Ingredients Oolong tea
Product of: China
Region(s) Fujian Province
Antioxidants High
Caffeine Low
Makes Great Iced Tea No
Milk No
Sugar No
Lemon No
Mint No
Organic No
Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Amount) 8.45 fl oz / 250 ml
Chinese Gongfu Method (Water Temp) 180 F / 82 C
Chinese Gongfu Method (Amount) 1 Teaspoon
Chinese Gongfu Method (Time) 1 Minute, repeat until flavor is exhausted
Western Method (Water Amount) 8.45 fl oz / 250 ml
Western Method (Water Temp) 212 F / 100 C
Western Method (Amount) 1 Teaspoon
Western Method (Time) 3-7 Mins (to taste)
Steeping Notes Traditionally, the recommendation has been that oolong tea be brewed at 180°F/82°C. Regretfully, modern society makes it necessary to consider that water may not be free of harmful bacteria and other impurities. Therefore you need to boil water to kill bacteria. If you wish to use traditional brewing temperatures bring the water to a boil and allow it to cool to the desired brewing temperature – it’s the food safe thing to do!