Tieguanyin Traditional-Style Traditionally-Grown
This traditional-style Tieguanyin Oolong is from the heart of China’s ball-rolled style oolong tea production: Anxi in Min-Nan (southern) Fujian Province. Bold and complex, this oolong tea is oxidized to the traditional 60-70%, longer than many modern Tieguanyins. Extremely ‘Chinese’ in style, this is the oolong that positioned Tieguanyin as one of the “Famous Teas” in all of China. This oolong should be steeped many times, each for a short time. The infusions will vary, initially being light and clear, and then becoming very rich and mouth-filling, finally returning to be an aromatic, clear brew. The leaf will swell and open until the full leaves are exposed, showing off the lovely crimson-tinged edges of the leaf. This proves the expertise of the tea master during manufacture.
An Yixing teapot is the perfect, traditional vessel for steeping ball-rolled style oolong tea, particularly Tieguanyin. This style of teapot allows the leaf to quickly fill the teapot and limit the amount of water introduced, thus encouraging the many steepings that will highlight the subtle changes that occur from infusion to infusion.
The temperature of the water is critical.
Steeping should start with typical oolong temperature water 185° -195° F, challenging the leaf a little, then the temperature can be increased or decreased for subsequent steepings, depending on your taste and the flavor desired. Many Chinese begin steeping oolongs for only 30 seconds, increasing to 2-3 minutes for the final steepings.