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Nonpareil Handmade Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong Tea
Strong orchid fragrance, sweet
Strong orchid fragrance, sweet
Houtian Village, Longjuan Township, Anxi County, Fujian Province, China
October 16, 2017
Hand-made, rolled into tight, even balls, sand-green in color,
with a shape often compared to the head of a dragonfly
Strong orchid aroma
When sipping the tea, a strong orchid fragrance quickly spreads across the teeth and cheeks,
and straight into throat back of the throat. The taste is smooth and mellow with a
long-lasting, sweet aftertaste
C. sinensis cv. Tieguanyin
Nanqi Tea Garden
Moderate caffeine (less than 20% of a cup of coffee)
Store in airtight, opaque packaging; keep refrigerated
A classic high-grade Tie Guan Yin Tea with strong Yinyun (Unique character for high-grade Tieguanyin). The orchid fragrance, which lingers for a long time in the mouth and throat, is especially apparent when breathing.
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. As Tie Guan Yin can endure a great number of infusions, all the while exuding a lofty, floral aroma, this tea offers you a truly unique sensation. This aroma promises to wash away the noise and busyness of the city, leaving only the brisk fragrance of orchids, a mellow taste from first sip to last, and that characteristic sweet, throaty flavor and lingering aftertaste.
Chinese Gongfu Method
|Teacup: 12oz / 355ml||Gaiwan: 3.8oz / 110ml|
|212℉ / 100℃||212℉ / 100℃|
|2 Teaspoons / 5g Tea Tea||7.5g Tea|
|Brewing time: 5 - 8 mins||7 steeps: rinse, 30s,40s,50s,60s,80s,100s,140s|
|Rinse time is 5 seconds|
The Nanqi Tea Garden, situated at an elevation between 800 and 1,000 metres, located in the Houtian Village of Longjuan Township in Anxi, China. The climate here is warm and moist year round, with average temperatures between 16℃ and 19℃. With an annual rainfall of approximately 1,800mm, Nanqi is a superstar Tieguanyin growing region. The tea planted here is of excellent quality because of the ecologically unique natural environment. More significantly, the local people are hard workers, good people who know very well how to make tea. The traditional processing method gives Nanqi Tieguanyin its unique Guan Yin taste, aroma, and feel: sun withering, spreading, fixation, rolling, forming and roasting. The orchid aroma of Nanqi Tie Guan Yin is spreading around the world.
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.