Type: Oolong Other names: Iron Goddess, Iron Guanyin, Ti Kuan Yin, Tiet Kwun Yum Origin: Anxi County, Fujian Province, China and others Quick description: The harvests in spring (also known as Jade) and autumn are most prized for the fruity, sometimes even berry taste and aroma Temperature: 90-95°C
Tieguanyin (simplified Chinese: 铁观音; traditional Chinese: 鐵觀音; Mandarin Pinyin: tiěguānyīn; Jyutping: tit3 gwun1 yam1; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Thih-koan-im; literally "Iron Guanyin or Iron Avalokiteśvara" or 'Tikuanyin' / 'Tit Koon Yum') is a premium variety of Chinese oolong tea originated in the 19th century in Anxi in Fujian province. Tieguanyin produced in different areas of Anxi have different gastronomic characteristics. Production has since extended to many regions even outside of China, including Mucha in Nantou, Taiwan.
Tieguanyin, Guanyin, Guanshiyin, are the names of the Chinese Goddess for over 20 centuries. Since then, Japan name Guanyin as Kannon, in Korea as Guam-eum. For about 200 years to 300 years, Chinese Buddhism Guanyin also influenced the south Asia nations and the south Asia people re-named Guanyin to bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, Mahāyāna Buddhism.
The name of the Chinese tea is translated in English as "Iron Guanyin", and sometimes as "Iron Goddess of Mercy." These two names are accurate. The deity has long been given a female identity in Chinese folk culture, although the original Chinese name carries no suggestion of the male-or-female-nature. A more accurate translation of the reference to the deity should be (the One) Observing the Voice of the People.
Other spellings and names include "Ti Kuan Yin," "Tit Kwun Yum," "Ti Kwan Yin," "Iron Buddha," "Iron Goddess Oolong," and "Tea of the Iron Bodhisattva." It is also known in the abbreviated form as "TGY."
There are two legends behind this tea: Wei and Wang.
Deep in the heart of Fujian's Anxi County, there was a rundown temple which held an iron statue of Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Every day on the walk to his tea fields, a poor farmer named Mr. Wei would pass by and reflect on the temple's worsening condition. “Something has to be done,” thought Mr. Wei.
Being poor, he did not have the means to repair the temple. Instead, the farmer brought a broom and some incense from his home. He swept the temple clean and lit the incense as an offering to Guanyin. "It's the least I can do," he thought to himself. Twice a month for many months, he repeated the same tasks.
One night, Guanyin appeared to him in a dream. She told him of a cave behind the temple where treasure awaited. He was to take the treasure and share it with others. In the cave, the farmer found a single tea shoot. He planted it in his field and nurtured it into a large bush, from which the finest tea was produced. He gave cuttings of this rare plant to all his neighbors and began selling the tea under the name Tieguanyin, Iron Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Over time, Mr. Wei and all his neighbors prospered; the rundown temple of Guanyin was repaired and became a beacon for the region. Mr. Wei took joy in the daily trip to his tea fields, never failing to stop in appreciation of the beautiful temple.
Wang was a scholar who accidentally discovered the tea plant beneath the Guanyin rock in Xiping. He brought the plant back home for cultivation. When he visited Emperor Qianlong in the 6th year of his reign, he offered the tea as a gift from his native village. Emperor Qianlong was so impressed that he inquired about its origin. Since the tea was discovered beneath the Guanyin Rock, he decided to call it the Guanyin tea.
Processing of Tieguanyin Tea
The processing of Tieguanyin tea (TGY) is complex and requires expertise. Even if the tea leaf is of high raw quality, and is plucked at the ideal time, if it is not processed correctly its true character will not be shown. This is why the method of processing Tieguanyin Tea was kept a secret.
- plucking tea leaves.(cai qing)
- sun withering. (shai qing)
- cooling. (liang qing)
- tossing. (yao qing)
- withering, this includes some oxidation. (wei diao)
- fixation. (sha qing)
- rolling. (rou nian)
- drying. (hong gan)
After drying some teas go through the added processes of roasting and scenting. 
By roasting level:
- Jade Tieguanyin (lightly baked Tieguanyin) is a newer type of Tieguanyin and has a light green jade color. It produces a very flowery aroma and taste. It is more similar to green tea than Oolong.
- Thoroughly Baked Tieguanyin is the original style. It has a more complex taste profile and warm aroma, but the traditional baking technique has not been passed on well so quality ones of this style is less seen in the market than "moderately baked' and "lightly" baked versions.
- Moderately baked Tieguanyin is a new breed that some argue has a good balance of floral aroma and complex taste, but it stores poorly.
By harvest time:
- Spring Tieguanyin is harvested around Li Xia (Start of Summer) and has the best overall quality.
- Autumn Tieguanyin is harvested in the autumn and has strong aroma but less complex taste.
- Summer Tieguanyin is harvested in summer and is considered lower quality. Summer Tieguanyin can be further divided into two types one harvested in June to July, one harvested in August.
- Winter Tieguanyin is harvested in winter. Production of Winter Tieguanyin is very low.
- Guanyin Wang (Guanyin "King") is the best of Jade Tieguanyin and Autumn Tieguanyin.
Based on the different roasting methods and locations, the types of Tieguanyin are various.
- The Chinese Anxi Iron Goddess Tea 安溪鉄観音- This oolong is typically close to a green tea, with only a little oxidation.  With a very flowery and fresh delicate aroma character, the tea liquid is golden yellow. 
- The Taiwan Mucha Iron Goddess Tea 木柵鉄観音- This traditional oolong is roasted and has a stronger taste and with roast nutty character, the tea liquid is reddish-brown.
- Taiwan teas
- ^ The Tea Guardian. "Oolongs: Anxi Varieties". http://teaguardian.com/nature_of_tea/oolongs_anxi_orientation.html. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- ^ a b c d The Tea Guardian. "Anxi Oolong: Tie'guanyin". http://teaguardian.com/Tea_Varieties/oolong_anxi_tgy.html. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- ^ "Tieguanyin Tea". Chinese-Tea-Culture. http://www.chinese-tea-culture.com/tieguanyin-tea.html.
- ^ "TieGuanYin Tea". artistictea. http://www.artistictea.com/famous-chinese-tea/tieguanyin-tea.html. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
- ^ a b The Tea Guardian. "Anxi Oolong: Charcoal Style Tie'guanyin". http://teaguardian.com/Tea_Varieties/oolong_anxi_charcoal_tieguanyin.html. Retrieved 1 June 2011.
- ^ Mary Lou Heiss, Robert J. Heiss (2007). The story of tea: a cultural history and drinking guide. Random House, Inc.. pp. 148–149. ISBN 9781580087452.
- ^ 聯合報地方新聞中心. 臺灣茶鄉之旅. 聯經出版. pp. 19. ISBN 9789570827941.
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