Ti Kwan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) is the most renown and sought after of all Chinese oolongs from the province of Fujian. Legend has it that the goddess appeared to a poor tea farmer in a dream to look in a cave behind her rundown temple. There he found a single tea shoot which he planted and cultivated. From that tea bush came the finest tea. Over time the farmer and his neighbors prospered and they were able to repair the temple.
This tea has stout glossy dark green leaves with serrated edges. The tightly twisted leaves unfurl to produce a pale yellow liquor that is fragrant and smooth with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Like all oolongs, this tea should be drunk alone without milk or sugar.
The producer named this particular tea Nian Hua Siao, literally translated as twisting flower laughter. The first infusion was very aromatic with an almost orchid-like fragrance. The second infusion was really smooth but not as fragrant. The third infusion was still fairly good but the fourth infusion was much lighter although the steeping time was increased from 3 to 5 minutes. This tea should be steeped for about 3 minutes in 200°F (93°C) water.
Let’s put the kettle on, it is time for tea! 😎