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When mentioned Anxi County, people will spontaneously think of Anxi Tie Guan Yin, “Iron Goddess”. It is well-known both inland and abroad. This Tie Guan Yin is close to forest green in color, has a pure aroma. Meanwhile the liquid of this Oolong tea is transparent and bright, which truly is a feast to the eyes. In taste, this Tie Guan Yin has sweet flavor, long-last fragrance and comfortable sweet aftertaste.
People live in Anxi, Fujian have strong favor in Tie Guan Yin. In holiday or weekends, they love to invite friends together to enjoy a cup of Iron Goddess and spend a leisure afternoon. As Tie Guan Yin is able to be infused for quite a long time, companioned with the high aroma, this tea will bring you a different feeling. The aroma washes away the noise and busyness in the city, only leaves you the brisk fragrance of orchid, the mellow taste in first sip, the sweet flavor in throat and a sweet aftertaste lasting a long time. If you are at local tea garden, you will have a strong feeling of the nature. Tie Guan Yin trees stand at every corner in your eyesight. Green tea leaves are surrounded by light mist. Tea workers will spend a whole busy day for their intoxicating Tie Guan Yin trees. It is not only the brisk scent that intoxicates you spirit, but also the Heavily Roasted Tie Guan Yin.
Tie Guan Yin tea is the premium form of Chinese Oolong teas. Being 60% - 70% fermented, these teas are high amino acids, vitamins, polyphenols and antioxidants. These combine into a tea that reduces cholesterol and helps reduce hardening of the arteries, and so can help reduce risks of heart attacks. The antioxidants it contains can also help guard against some forms of cancer, and also help fight the effects of aging and bacterial infections.
After drinking the manually crafted Tie Guan Yin, TeaVivre has interviewed the tea farmer Chen Biyi with several questions about the tea.
Q: Where are the fresh leaves of this tea come from?
Chen: almost every town in An’xi produces fresh tea leaves. The materials of this tea are mainly planted in four towns: Xianghua, Gande, Huqiu, and Xiping.
Q: Usually when we drink Tie Guan Yin, we may feel a little sour taste, on the root of toungue, along with the high aroma of Tie Guan Yin. How does this come?
Chen: It is because a longer time of spontaneous fermentation before fixation. The sour flavor comes out naturally after the long time of tossing and oxidation, often in three days.
Hu Tou Tea Garden in HuQiu, Anxi. The origin tea Leaf of our Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin is from here.
*TeaVivre: The sour flavor doesn’t mean the tea goes bad, or its quality is affected. It is because of Tuo Suan (拖酸). Tea leaves are not instantly pan-fired after picked off from the trees. They will be put aside for two or three days. During that time, the leaves will be oxidized and spontaneous ferment, which brings out the sour flavor. It is a kind of making method that to wait for few days before stir fixation.
Q: But I didn’t taste a flavor like that when drinking this Tie Guan Yin. Is this a result of instant stir fixation?
Chen: You’re right. We call this kind of Tie Guan Yin as Zheng Chao (正炒, zhèng chǎo). Zheng means the middle of the day. Chao refers to the process of stir fixation, chao qing. We pick the fresh tea leaves in the morning, and finish the process of chao qing before 12 o’clock in the noon. That’s why it is called Zheng Chao.
*TeaVivre: Zheng Chao Tie Guan Yin has a smooth tasted liquid, heavy and clear flavor, and strong aroma of sweet orchid. Local people in Fujian name this characteristic of Tie Guan Yin as “The Charm of Guan Yin”, Guan Yin Yun or Yin Yun. It is also a standard of discerning the quality of an Iron Goddess. Chen mentioned that tea workers will decide whether the tea leaves are ready for stir fixation by their years of experience. In this way, the flavor of one kind of tea may be slightly various due to different experience of its maker. Tea’s flavor is highly affected by weather as well.
Tie Guan Yin belongs to asexual propagation, bush, and medium-size leaf. Leaf is oval, in deep green color, thick but fragile, and the whole leaf is light curve. The margin of leaf is in wave shape. Leaf dent is thin and dull. Buds are purple red.
This tree species is weak, poor in stress resistance, has undeveloped root and poor performance of germinating branches. It owns a name of “Tasty but Delicate”. Only a fertile land with qualified trees and appropriate planting method could breeds Tie Guan Yin of high quality and good harvest.
Anxi County lies in the middle by south of Fujian, at 24°51′ N - 25°26′ N, 117°34′E - 118°18′E. Its total area is 2983.1 square kilometers. The environment of Anxi is definitely suitable for planting tea trees. It locates in the subtropical humid climate zone, on the southeast side of Dai Yun Mountain. The average temperature here is about 16 to 20℃, while the annual precipitation is around 1600 mm to 1800 mm.
According to the record in “Anxi County Annuals/An Xi Xian Zhi”, the tea production in Anxi began in Tang Dynasty, rose in Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty, flourished in last century. It has a history over one thousand years. Anxi was renowned as “the capital of tea in Fujian”. In March, 1995, Anxi was named as the “Home of Chinese Oolong Tea” by Ministry of Agriculture.
For Tie Guan Yin’s store, a low temperature and well-sealed condition is required. Thus the Tie Guan Yin could be kept in good quality for a longer time. This is because the tea leaves are oxidizable. If it is exposed to air, oxidation will take away the flavor of the tea and decline the amount of beneficial substance in it. To store in low temperature and vacuum condition (sealed in refrigerator or freezer) can isolate the tea from air. In this way the aroma and flavor of Tie Guan Yin could be retained.
Tie Guan Yin tea is the highest quality form of Chinese Oolong tea. Oolong teas were first developed during the early 1700's in the Fujian area of China. As a cross between non fermented green and white teas, and the fully fermented black teas, that combines the best of both in a single tea, Oolong teas quickly became popular all through eastern China and Taiwan. In the early 1970's Oolong Tea became widely popular in Japan, and from their spread to the rest of the world. Fujian, the home of Oolong tea's, still produces the finest Oolong teas.
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You're reviewing: Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea
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Thank you Angel! I just got my package in today. Perfect timing by the way, as I’m trying to relax. I have to say that Teavivre’s shipping is amazingly quick. This tea is just something else. The leaves are this amazing, deep green color. The dry leaf has an amazing magnolia/deep floral aspect. I’m so surprised how fragrant this one is. I’m going to steep this in my smallest teapot (~6oz) for 1min/2min/3min.
1st steep (1min): The liquor is very clear and has notes of hay and flowers. The leaves unfurled in this amount of time and are just the most amazing shade of green. This has the most interesting flavor! There is a bite of something I don’t have words for. This has some quiet floral notes and almost a hint of grape there in the background; it is very faint. This is one interesting tea!
2nd steep (2min): Much more floral this time. Very warming and strong flavored.
3rd steep (3min): Still very flavorful, a really solid tea and one that I’d recommend.
This review was originally published on Steepster by Tamm on May 7, 2013. TeaVivre add this whole review here by getting permission from Tamm.
I think this is one of my favorites, it tastes like it was grown by and small industrial farmer who doesn't use pesticides. I taste no chemical taste nor does it taste processed which it possibly was. Bravo!
I am new to oolong tea, but I really enjoyed this oolong. I look forward to trying other oolong teas as well.
Fabulous tea. Very unique appearance and taste. I am very blessed to have been able to experience this tea.
This is an absolutely beautiful tea to experience, a sensation for the eyes and mouth. I adore the aroma and early floral bloom. Unfortunately for me, the spinach, or chard-like ending is, well, not my cup...
I like this tea a lot.
It's aroma is stronger than "Organic Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea" and it's flavor is a bit more complex. Both teas are nice, but I prefer this one.
Have a nice pure aroma that is stronger than another Kuang Yin from Anxi. Also have aftertastes.
My husband and I both think this is an outstanding oolong. My husband, who is a big oolong drinker said it is the best he has ever had. Though on the pricier side, you can get multiple infusions.
I just brewed some of the Superfine Tie guan yin and it was
awesome. It is probably the best Tie guan yin I can get from USA.
Reply: The color of the Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin's leaves is bright green because of its orgin place is Anxi. In the Tie Guan Yin tea gardens in Anxi, the elements in soil is different from other places, meanwhile the climate and environment here is distinctive which can help the tea leaves to produce lots of chlorophyll. So that the leaves contains more chlorophyll than other Tie Guan Yin leaves, which make it looks bright green.
Reply: It means high grade. Now i show you the defferent grade' ranking of teas: Normal<Premium<Superfine<Nonpareil.
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