A tea farmer who lived in Anxi, Fujian province, during the Qing dynasty, is said to have dreamed a goddess was floating above a mountain where a beautiful fragrant tea bush grew. The next day, he located the bush and took it to his own garden where he cultivated the tea. A visiting monk, given a taste of the wonderful tea, commented, ‘This tea is a gift of the goddess’, and he named it ‘Tie Guan Yin’ which translates into ‘Iron Lady Who Wishes To See And Hear No Suffering’, usually rendered as ‘Iron Goddess of Mercy’.
With a delightful, honeyed character and robust, long-lingering taste, this celebrated oolong is richly nutty with slight, tangy hints of ripe stone fruit and a floral, osmanthus aroma.
The leaves are oxidised by bruising inside a bamboo drum, then allowed to rest and gradually wither. The resting phase facilitates the conversion of catechins into bioflavinoids while deepening the amber colour of the liquor, then, finally, the tea leaves undergo a special, finishing roast.