Tieguanyin tea (铁观音, Tiě Guān Yīn) is also called Iron Goddess, Iron Guanyin, and Ti Kuan Yin. “Tie” means “iron” and “Guanyin” means “goddess of mercy”.
Tieguanyin tea is a kind of Chinese oolong tea and is one of the top 10 famous Chinese tea. It is native to the Anxi County of Quanzhou City, Fujian Province. “Tieguanyin” is not only the name of the tea but also the name of the tea tree.
Tieguanyin tea has a unique “Guanyin flavor” (Guanyin Yun). After brewing, it has a natural long-lasting orchid fragrance, so Tieguanyin tea has the reputation of “Still have fragrance after seven times of brewing”.
Table of Contents
- History of Tieguanyin Tea
- Characteristics of Tieguanyin Tea
- Types of Tieguanyin Tea
- Benefits of Tieguanyin Tea
- Legend of Tieguanyin Tea
History of Tieguanyin Tea
Anxi people first created oolong tea in 1725 and Tieguanyin tea was first created by them during 1725-1735.
During that time, Anxi tea farmers cultivated many excellent varieties of tea trees, among which the tea produced from the Tieguanyin tea tree has the best quality. Tieguanyin tea tree, an excellent variety, is not very tall, but its leaves are very tender and green. Oolong tea made from the Tieguanyin tea tree is called Tieguanyin tea.
After Tieguanyin tea appeared, because of its high quality, it is quickly spread to the surrounding towns and villages and imitated by tea farmers in different places. In 1896, two Anxi people introduced Tieguanyin tea to other provinces and the tea is loved by many tea customers.
With the continuous improvement of Anxi oolong tea, it began to spread to other countries. At the same time, Tieguanyin’s popularity was getting higher and higher.
Since modern times, the Anxi tea industry has developed rapidly, especially the production of Tieguanyin tea, making Anxi a famous tea town in China.
Characteristics of Tieguanyin Tea
The shape of Tieguanyin tea is fat and crapy. The color of dried tea leaves is emerald interlaced with dark green. Its fragrance is fresh and strong.
After brewing, the color of the tea liquid is yellow-green and looks clear and bright. Its taste is mellow, fresh, and has a sweet aftertaste.
Types of Tieguanyin Tea
According to the degree of fermentation and processing technology, Tieguanyin tea can be classified into fragrant, strong fragrant, mellow fragrant, and charcoal-baked Tieguanyin tea.
- Fragrant Tieguanyin tea: it tastes light and slightly sweet. It is made with modern technology. At present, it has the largest share in the market.
- Strong fragrant Tieguanyin tea: it tastes sweeter than the fragrant one and its fragrance is stronger. It is made with traditional technology.
- Mellow fragrant Tieguanyin tea: it also called old tea or ripe tea is made from the fragrant or strong fragrant ones which are stored for a long time and repeatedly reprocessed. It is black in color and tastes similar to black tea and dark tea.
- Charcoal-baked Tieguanyin tea: it is made from fragrant Tieguanyin tea by baking with charcoal.
Benefits of Tieguanyin Tea
At the beginning of the 19th century, the composition of tea gradually became clear. Through modern scientific identification, there are more than 450 kinds of organic chemical components and 40 kinds of inorganic mineral elements in tea. The organic and inorganic mineral elements in tea contain many nutritive and effective components.
The main organic chemical components are tea polyphenols, alkaloids, proteins, vitamins, pectins, organic acids, lipopolysaccharides, sugars, enzymes, pigments, etc. Mineral elements mainly include 11 minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.
The content of organic chemical components in Tieguanyin tea, such as tea polyphenols, catechins, and various amino acids, is significantly higher than that in other teas.
Benefits of Tieguanyin tea:
- Weight loss
- Help digestion
- Increase appetite
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower blood lipids
- Inhibit cardiovascular disease
Legend of Tieguanyin Tea
According to a legend, around 1720, in Anxi County, there was an old tea farmer who was diligent in growing tea plants and believed in Buddhism. Every morning and evening, he must offer a cup of tea in front of the Buddha of Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy), which lasted for decades without interruption.
One night, when he was asleep, he dreamt that he was going out of the house with a hoe on his shoulder. He came to a stream and suddenly found a tea tree with strong branches and lush leaves. It was different from the tea trees he had seen.
The next morning, he followed the path of his dream last night and found the tea tree beside the stream. Watching carefully, he could see that the tea leaves are oval, tender, and plump. He was very happy to digged it back and planted it in a small iron pot, and cultivated it carefully.
The tea farmer got the tea tree from the dream Guanyin gave, so he named the tea “Tieguanyin”.