Weight: 150 g (5.30 oz).
Translation: Iron goddess of mercy of Anxi
Alternative name: Iron Goddess of Mercy
Region: Fujian Province
Harvest season: Late April to early May
Cultivar: Tie Guan Yin
According to legend, on the way home from his plantation, a grower named Mr Wei used to pass by a temple dedicated to Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy. Every time he was saddened to see the dilapidated state of the temple and the iron statue of Guan Yin. Although he didn't have the means to restore them, he decided to burn incense there and to sweep the rooms and clean the statue. One night, the goddess Guan Yin came to him in a dream and said, "In the cave behind the temple lies a treasure that will last many generations... Be sure to share it generously with your neighbors." The next day, Mr.Wei searched the cave and found only a small tea shoot He took it, planted it in his garden and cared for it so well that it became a sturdy bush that bore beautiful tea leaves within two years. When he infused them in a zhong he noticed a remarkable aroma and a flavor that was pure and lasting even after several infusions. Encouraged by these results he took even greater care of the plant, and after a few years the original tree had produced more than 200 bushes. Now that he had become rich, Mr. Wei was able to have the temple and the statue of the goddess of mercy restored. He willingly shared seeds with his neighbors, and they all lived comfortably and were able to appreciate the delicate Tie Guan Yin tea.
Another version of the legend claims that Mr Wei named the tea after both the goddess and the iron pot in which he planted the young shoot. Although this tea is now very famous and produced in many regions throughout China, the best Tie Guan Yin is still found in Anxi.
Tasting notes: In the palm of the hand, the rolled leaves of Tie Guan Yin tea present a delicate composition of shades of green. The infusion envelops the taster in a heady spring bouquet of lily of the valley, hyacinth and clover flowers. The mouth feel presents gentle vegetable notes of artichoke heart and fresh mushroom before developing into a suave floral fullness. The velvety, very generous liquid is enriched with savory aromas of zucchini and vanilla. The long finish brings together vegetal and floral notes in a refreshing combination.
Recommended infusion method accessory: The gong fu cha technique and a zhong or teapot.