Tieguanyin or Tie Guan Yin is one of, if not the best oolong tea in China. Named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, it somehow shows how much people in China value this variety of oolong. They believe that the goddess showed the way and lead commoners to discover this incredible tea. Legends have it that Emperor Qianlong (1711 – 1799) enjoyed and praised Tieguanyin tea for its wonderful flavor.
What is Tieguanyin tea?
Tieguanyin is a variety of oolong tea from China. It originated from Anxi county, southern Fujian province, during the 19th century. Since it is a popular tea with significant production, there are designated areas to produce this tea.
The producing region is separated into the inner mountain and outer mountain areas. Different areas bring in different gastronomic characteristics to the tea. People harvest tea leaves, not tea buds for Tieguanyin all year rounds. But spring, followed by autumn Tieguanyin, are of the best quality.
It is time-consuming to produce it. The more mature plucked tea leaves go through the process of wilting, shaking, fermenting, wok frying, rolling, roasting, and finishing. Another variety, the light Tieguanyin, requires particular processing methods and fermentation levels. In recent years, it is lightly oxidized and can be roasted or unroasted.
Tieguanyin oolong tea leaves are often rolled into tightly packed tea balls or pellets. After steeping, the tea leaves will unfurl and release its amazing aroma and flavor. Apart from the traditional tea houses, you can also find Tieguanyin tea from large bubble tea chains worldwide. They offer drinks like Tieguanyin milk tea or Tieguanyin tea latte. It shows how famous tea can transform and reach an even broader audience of all ages.
What does Tieguanyin tea taste like?
Tieguanyin has the floral fragrance, reminiscent of orchids, and a rich, full-bodied flavor. There are fruity notes and a refreshing aftertaste associated with it. The tea liquor has a beautiful golden to orange color. It is the tea of choice by many Chinese and tea lovers all over the world.
It is not surprising that Tieguanyin is a sought after tea for so many years. The combination of fresh, delicate aroma and smooth, velvety taste is hard to beat. The flavor lingers in your mouth for a long time, making tea time an enjoyable encounter.
Tieguanyin is semi-oxidized and has various health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, essential vitamins, and amino acids. Regular consumption can promote heart health and digestive health. It also plays a role in improving skin condition and complexion.
Tieguanyin carries catechins, natural antioxidants that help prevent the damage of cells. It can also accelerate the metabolism and speed up calories consumption. Drink the tea can reduce the body’s absorption of starch that turns into fat. It is an excellent drink to support your healthy weight loss program.
The tea carries fluoride, a particularly bone-specific component. Consumption of Tieguanyin oolong tea has a connection with higher bone mineral density. It promotes stronger and denser bones in both men and women. And links with the prevention of osteoporosis, a disease that makes the bones become porous and break easily, especially in women after menopause.
L-theanine found in the tea can help us relieve excessive stress and promote relaxation in both our mind and body. It can also sharpen our focus and increase alertness.
The caffeine content of Tieguanyin is 12 to 15 milligrams per 100 ml. The level is lower than that of coffee but higher than some other tea. People who are sensitive to caffeine should take note of this and avoid excess consumption.
What is the Tieguanyin tea price?
You can buy Tieguanyin from specialty tea shops or online tea vendors. Most big tea shops carry at least one or more varieties. So it is not hard to find.
The price of Tieguanyin ranges from $25 to $38 per 100 grams. Origin, variety, and quality are some factors that explain the differences in prices of this tea. Premium and spring grade Tieguanyin is more expensive than regular ones. You can try this tea in the small 30 grams or 50 grams packet to see if the taste is of your preference.
It is simple to brew Tieguanyin using various tea vessels. You can choose to brew using a teapot, Gaiwan, or even a tea mug. The amount of tea and water used varies depending on each vessel.
Follow these steps below to brew Tieguanyin using a teapot:
- Prepare a pot of water (10 to 12 fl. oz), bring to a boil
- Pour boiling water into a teapot, then empty the water (optional step to ensure cleanliness and warm the teapot)
- Use 4 to 5 grams of tea leaves into the teapot
- Pour boiling water onto the tea leaves briefly and pour out the water, keeping the tea leaves in the pot
- Fill the teapot with hot water (95ºC – 205ºF), cover with a lid
- Steep it for 2 minutes
- Pour into a cup and enjoy
You can steep Tieguanyin tea for 4 to 5 times. Adjust the steeping time to your preferences as longer time bring in stronger flavors. With each consecutive steep, you can gradually increase the times. Avoid putting too much dried Tieguanyin into a teapot, as the tea leaves will open up a lot and can over-fill the pot.