Tie Guanine is a premium variety of Chinese oolong tea associated with Anxi in Fujian province. Tie Guanine produced in different areas of Anxi have different characteristics. The tea is also produced in Nantou, Taiwan with much success, as well as Anxi, Fujian.
Name:Ānxī tiě guānyīn / 安溪铁观音
Style:Tightly curled dark jade green leaves.
Flavor:Sweet honey note with a hint of floral taste
Aroma:Strong orchid fragrance
Brewing:Brew up to 8/9 infusions at 90°C
The processing of Tie Guanine tea (TGY) is complex and requires expertise. Even if the tea leaf is of high raw quality, and is plucked at the ideal time, if it is not processed correctly its true character will not be shown.
1.plucking tea leaves.(can qing)
2.sun withering. (shai qing)
3.cooling. (liang qing)
4.tossing. (yao qing)
5.withering, this includes some oxidation. (wei diao)
6.fixation. (sha qing)
7.rolling. (you nan)
8.drying. (hong gan)
After drying some teas go through the added processes of roasting and scenting.
Although a good balance of taste and aroma is obtainable using standard infusion parameters, the best way to enjoy a fine bouquet Tieguanyin is to put in a few times the tealeaves for a shorter infusion. A really fine one would give you a round, intense aroma with a velvety liquor of tinkling sensation. For a 150 ml taster’s mug or, better yet, a 140 ml taiwan, begin experimenting with 8 g of tea with 95°C water for one to one and a half minutes. You can try your way up to 12 g, but the selection has to be really fine in order for this tea to water ratio to work.
A traditional thoroughly browned Tieguanyin, on the other hand, can be quite hardened by the firing and needs a lot of time to open up for a full body. Some people would blanch
the tea an additional time instead, while others would smash a few kernels and bury the debris amongst whole kernels for quicker, but not over, release of taste.
The tea leaves are curly, almost ball-like. The color is a dark brownish green. Once brewed, the liquid of good Tieguanyin should be a beautiful amber color while inferior tea yields a dark brown color. Speaking of the flavor, Tieguanyin is arguably the most naturally aromatic Chinese tea. It has a penetrating floral scent but well balanced by a slightly bitter taste which morphs into a sweet aftertaste. The complexities in the flavor are what set Tieguanyin apart as the tea connoisseurs’ tea. There are two types of Tieguanyin based on the type of aroma: intense and refreshing, a good description of its respective aromatic feature.
Good Tieguanyin keeps its flavor well into the seventh or eighth brew, making it a perfect companion of contemplation and meditation.