Iron Buddha Tea (Tie Guan Yin)
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Iron Buddha (Tie Guan Yin) is one of the best-known varieties of Oolong Tea. It is lightly oxidised and rolled into balls. The best is produced in Anxi, Fujian province and is characterized by a delicate floral aroma and sweet, mellow taste. It should have none of the astringent vegetal notes of Green Tea and so is a very good introduction for novices looking to explore the joys of Chinese Tea.Buy Iron Buddha Tea
Anxi County, Fujian Province, China. A version of Tie Guan Yin is also made in Nantou, Taiwan.
Varietals: Anxi is home to over 50 Oolong varietals. Tie Guanyin belongs to a group of cultivars known as Ming Nan Oolong.
Iron Buddha (Tie Guan Yin) is picked up to four times a year, in Spring, mid-Summer, late Summer and Autumn. Spring and Autumn are the best seasons, although Autumn tea is less abundant, so more expensive. Timing of the picking is crucial – around the middle of the day is preferred. Pickers pluck two or three leaves and one bud. The tea is then allowed to wither briefly in the sun before being gently tumbled to bruise the leaves. The tumbling and drying steps may be repeated to achieve the desired flavour. Tie Guan Yin is fixed with a final baking and curled into the characteristic loose fisted shape by hand.
See this excellent guide for more information.
Good Tie Guan Yin produces a green-gold liquor with notes of grapes, baked bread, and caramel. The soft sweetness becomes more pronounced through successive infusions.
Brew Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea at around 85 - 90°C. Allow the leaves to steep for 2 minutes and reinfuse at least three or four times to appreciate the subtle flavours.