1. What is Tie Guan Yin?
Tie Guan Yin, translated literally as Iron Goddess of Mercy, is a variety of Chinese oolong tea. It's also known as TGY and sometimes mistakenly called Tai Guanyin. Other names you might see it called are Ti Kuan Yin (and variations) and Iron Goddess Tea; it is further referred to as Guang Yan or Canton tea, though this term actually refers to imported Chinese teas in general.
The story of Tie Guan Yin starts over 400 years ago in the Fujian province of China when a Buddhist nun named Yi Guan (Iron Guanyin) started creating simple herbal remedies, teas, and medicines. Today, Tie Guan Yin is still made by the descendants of Yi Guan in Fujian Province, China. So mostly when talking about Tie Guan Yin, it's referred to Fujian Tie Guan Yin.
2. What does Tie Guan Yin taste like?
Tie Guan Yin tea leaves are harvested only on sunny mornings when the dew has not yet dried. The leaves are then withered outdoors in the sun for about 3 hours, during which time they are turned every so often to ensure even drying. They are then brought inside to a ventilated area where the oxidation process is started, either by heating or exposure to air. This process takes about 12 hours. Finally, the leaves are roasted in a bamboo basket, a process that takes about 1 to 3 hours. These three processes combined take more than 18 hours.
The result is a tea with an intense flavor and aroma, red-orange liquor, and golden tips -- Tie Guan Yin has been likened to being as smooth as it is strong. The taste of Fujian Tie Guan Yin is sometimes described as being similar to that of orchids. The tea also has notes of toast and barley.
The taste of Tie Guan Yin varies depending on the terroir where it is grown, oxidation process, how old the leaves are, what time of year it was harvested, etc. There are many varieties of Tie Guan Yin and some are more floral or fruity in taste than others.
3. What are the health benefits of Tie Guan Yin?
The health benefits of Tie Guan In are numerous. The tea is high in antioxidants which help to fight off free radicals and protect the body from disease. It's also been shown to boost the immune system, help with weight loss, improve heart health, and lower blood pressure. Tie Guan Yin is also known to be a digestive aid and can help relieve constipation and other gastrointestinal issues. Additionally, the tea is said to be beneficial for skin health, aiding in the healing of wounds and reducing inflammation.
Some people also believe that Tie Guan Yin has caffeine-like effects. It's usually prepared with more oxidized leaves than other Chinese teas and is only prepared by experienced tea makers. When brewed, Tie Guan Yin can last up to four infusions and the more you brew it, the stronger the caffeine effect becomes.
4. What regions of China produce Tie Guan Yin?
Tie Guan Yin is produced in Fujian Province. Though it can be grown elsewhere, the tea is most commonly associated with this area of China -- specifically Nanping and Fuding counties. There are other regions of China where Tie Guan Yin is grown, including Anhui, Guangdong, and Hubei provinces, but the tea from these regions are not as highly regarded as the Fujian varieties.
5. How do I brew Tie Guan Yin
When you brew Tie Guan Yin, always use a gaiwan or Chinese teapot. We recommend Yixing Clay teapot because it has a lot of benefits such as being easy to remove hot water and decreasing the temperature of the tea.
Step 1. Put 5 grams of tea into your gaiwan. Pour boiled water into the gaiwan, wait for 20 seconds
Step 2. Pour out hot water and pour in new water (it's important to use boiling temperature). Wait 3 minutes this time, repeat until you feel it's strong enough
Step 3: For the third infusion, boil water and pour it over the leaves for 3 to 5 minutes.
The time you spend infusion Tie Guan Yin is also very important too. Different tea needs different infusion time, so you can adjust them according to your taste. Generally, the first infusion is short (30 seconds to 1 minute), the second is a little longer (1-2 minutes) and the third is 3-5 minutes. You can continue brewing it for subsequent infusions, but the longer you steep it, the less flavorful and intense the tea becomes.
- Use high-quality water, such as spring or filtered water.
- Preheat your teapot or gaiwan with boiling water before you put in your Tie Guan Yin.
- When removing the leaves from the pot, use a brewing basket to avoid damaging the leaves and affecting the taste of your tea.
6. How much caffeine content is in Tie Guan Yin tea?
Tie Guan Yin has some caffeine, Experts agree that there is about 20mg of caffeine in one cup (~8 oz.) -- it's less than white tea and on the same level as oolong tea.
7. How to store Tie Guan Yin?
-Don't store your Tie Guan Yin in the refrigerator
-Sunlight, moisture, and heat will age the tea leaves quickly. So it is not recommended to store them near a window or in a place that sees a lot of sunlight.
-Keep your Tie Guan Yin away from other teas to avoid flavor transfer.
8. Side effects of Tie Guan Yin tea
-Like other caffeinated drinks, Tie Guan Yin can cause headaches and nervousness in some people.
-The caffeine in Tie Guan Yin can also be dehydrating, so it's important to drink plenty of water when drinking tea.
-Brewing the tea for too long or with too hot water can result in a bitter taste.
-Tie Guan Yin is not recommended for pregnant women or people with heart problems.
In conclusion, Tie Guan Yin is a delicious and healthy tea that has many benefits for the mind and body. So if you're looking for a new tea to try, we highly recommend choosing one in our store!