Tie Guan Yin is one of the famous cultivars used for Wulong (partially oxidized) tea. Traditionally this tea was made with its leaves dried into a long and open shape and heavily roasted with a dark color (much like Wulong tea from Wuyi Mountain or Chaozhou) but in the last two decades most Tie Guan Yin is crafted into a denser ball-like shape with less roasting and oxidation, making for a greener colored tea.
All of our Tie Guan Yin is made purely from the original Tie Guan Yin cultivar, and not blended with other local cultivars, as is the case with most other so called “Tie Guan Yin” on the market today. The leaves used to craft this tea are grown in a higher (above 1000 m) mountain region that is far removed from Anxi city, where most Tie Guan Yin is made. In this high mountain region, the environment is relatively untouched and free from pollutants, and as as a result, the regions tea naturally carries a light wild flower aroma.
We purchase tea directly from the Zhang family of farmer-producers. The Zhang family only harvests 20 days out of the Spring season, beginning after the first week of May in what is considered the “later Spring.” Their picking date is naturally a bit later than other farms, simply because their high elevation farm is colder and their tea bushes react to the cold by yielding their leaves less quickly. When tea is finally ready for harvest, the leaves from the sunniest day of picking are put aside for a special tea – Golden Tie Guan Yin. Clear sunshine is considered ideal picking conditions for leaves to be made into wulong tea. The warmth of the sun on the leaves excites molecular activity within them, increasing their flavor and aroma.
As result, Golden Tie Guan Yin is uncommonly intense. Even the aromatic richness of its dry leaf stands out among other Tie Guan Yin. When brewed it yields buttery and fruity aromatics and a bright yellow-green infusion. Its flavor is full bodied with both sweet and sour notes – the tell tale character of true Tie Guan Yin leaves. Golden Tie Guan Yin is a tea to be enjoyed over multiple infusions, each infusion unveiling new layers of its flavor.
Tea Origin: Fujian Province
Tea Bush: Tie Guan Yin Bush
Tea Master: Zhang Qing Jian
Harvest Time: May
Picking Standard: one slightly opened leaf with three mature leaves
Teaware: 12 oz. glass, porcelain or yi xing clay pot
Amount: ¾ Tbs of tea leaves
Water: 212°F (boiling) filtered water
Infusion: First infusion at least 2 minutes. The leaves are good for 6 infusions.