Tie Guanyin (literally “Iron Goddess of Mercy”) is the most famous variety of China’s oolongs, and is one of China’s “Top 10 Teas”. It is produced in the west mountain area of Anxi County in China’s Fujian Province. It is said that there was a poor tea farmer named Wei Yin living in Shangyao Town in the Anxi region. Each day he faithfully cleaned an old mountain temple that housed an iron statue of Guanyin. One night in a dream, Guanyin guided him to a tea tree near the temple that gave off a strange sweet fragrance. The next day he went to the place in his dream and actually found a single tea tree! He carefully cared for and cultivated the tree, and as it grew, he began to share it with the community. The tea grew in popularity and the community prospered. A beautiful new temple was built to honor Guanyin and the tea trees were named after her.
The processed tealeaf is a tightly rolled jade green. The tea liquor is golden, rich and bright. It gives off a heavy perfume that lingers in the cup. The taste is sweet and savory like honey, smooth and mellow, with a sweet pleasant aftertaste.