The famous Ti Kuan Yin (“Iron Goddess of Mercy”) cultivar provides short, spreading shrubs with glossy dark green leaves with curly, serrated edges. It is lovely to watch the tightly twisted leaves uncurl from small balls to fill up the steeping vessel – they maintain their glossy dark green, sometimes edged with red, and produce an aromatic amber liquor.
Traditionally, Ti Kuan Yin tea is processed by an assertive baking method. This produces a lighter, “greener” Oolong which tends toward grassy flavors, but also possesses an enticing nutty aroma, an addictive toasty sweetness up front, minor tones of peach and peony, and a little dryness which holds long-lingering almond and melon tones on the palate. Don’t be surprised to find yourself sipping cup after cup chasing the many nuanced flavors!
Oolong teas, situated somewhere between green and black categories, are very flexible, and may be steeped hotter or cooler, longer or shorter, to produce different but equally delicious cups. Please experiment to find what you like best! We also recommend that you re-steep these leaves at least once, to fully appreciate the many nuances, or to try it in the traditional Chinese method – a series of small cups steeped first for 30 seconds, then an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent re-steeping. Enjoy 5 or more small cups, note the change in aroma and flavor profile as the leaves unfurl and infuse little by little.
Steeping Time – 3-6 Minutes
Water Temp – 180-200 F
Classically prepared premium leaves from Fujian Province.