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Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea
Pleasant notes of orchid flowers
Pleasant notes of orchid flowers
Anxi County, Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China
May 8, 2017
Rolled to semi-ball shape in sand-green color
Fresh vegetal, orchid floral aroma
Clear yellowish green
Smooth, soft and brisk with sweet aftertaste and long-lasting fragrance
C. sinensis cv. Tieguanyin
Fujing Tea Garden
Moderate caffeine (less than 20% of a cup of coffee)
Store in airtight, opaque packaging; keep refrigerated
A tasty and floral Tie Guan Yin which is good for everyday drink.
When Anxi County is mentioned, people spontaneously think of Anxi Tie Guan Yin, “Iron Goddess” tea. It is well-known both at home and abroad as one of the Top 10 Teas of China. This Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin belongs to zheng chao Tie Guan Yin tea, has comfortable brisk and smooth flavour.
Legend has it that the cliff is too abrupt for people to pick the Oolong tea leaves. Therefore, monkey is trained to climb the cliff and help tea farmers pick the Oolong tea leaves. Another saying goes that tea farmers need to tie a rope around the waist during the process of picking, just like a monkey. Hence obtains its name.
Chinese Gongfu Method
|Teacup: 12oz / 355ml||Gaiwan: 3.8oz / 110ml|
|212℉ / 100℃||212℉ / 100℃|
|3 Teaspoons / 5g Tea||7g Tea|
|Brewing time: 3- 5 mins||7 steeps: rinse, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 80s, 100s, 120s|
|Rinse time is around 5 seconds|
Fujing Tea Garden, with elevation between 500 to 800 metres, locates in Huqiu which is one of the main areas in Anxi that produces Tie Guan Yin Tea. The weather here is warm and moist climate all year round with average temperature between 16℃ to 19℃. Annual rainfall here is around 1800ml.
After tasting this hand-crafted Tie Guan Yin tea, Angel Chen from TeaVivre interviewed the tea farmer, Ms. Chen Biyi, with several questions about the tea.
Angel: Where are the fresh leaves of this tea from?
Ms Chen: Almost every town in An’xi produces fresh tea leaves. The materials of this tea are mainly from plantations in the areas of Longjuan, Xianghua, Gande, Huqiu, and Xiping.
Angel: Usually, when we drink Tie Guan Yin, we may feel a slight sour taste on the root of our tongue, along with the lofty aroma of Tie Guan Yin. Where do these qualities come from?
Ms Chen: This is due to a longer period of spontaneous fermentation before fixation. The sour flavor comes out naturally after the extended period of tossing and oxidation, which often lasts for three days.
TeaVivre: The sour flavor doesn’t represent that the tea has gone bad, or that its quality is affected. The sourness is due to something called tuo suan (拖酸), or drawing out the sourness. Tea leaves are not instantly pan-fired after being picked from the tea shrubs. They will be put aside for two to three days, during that which time the leaves will oxidize and spontaneous ferment, a process from which the sour flavor develops. This is a production method, to wait for a few days before performing stir fixation.
Angel: But I didn’t taste a flavor like that when drinking this Nonpareil Tie Guan Yin. Is this a result of instant stir fixation?
Ms Chen: You’re right. We call this kind of Tie Guan Yin Zheng Chao (正炒, zhèng chǎo). Zheng refers to the middle of the day. Chao refers to the process of stir fixation, chao qing, or frying the leaves to end the oxidation process and “fix” the level of oxidation. 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 the tea maker. Tea’s flavor is highly affected by weather as well.
Anxi lies in the eastsouth 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. 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.
C. sinensis cv. Tieguanyin is produced through sexual propagation, a shrub with a medium-size leaf that is oval-shaped, deep emerald-green in color, thick but fragile, with a slight curve along its length and a wavy edge. The leaf dent is thin, and the buds are purple red. It has earned the moniker “delicious but difficult to grow” since only fertile soil, qualified tea shrubs, and appropriate planting and cultivation methods can produce the highest quality Tieguanyin and lead to a bountiful harvest.
Tie Guan Yin tea is the representative 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 teas, still produces the finest Oolong teas.