Commonly called Iron Goddess, this is probably China’s best known oolong. Like other oolongs, this tea is semi-fermented, which gives it a unique character and a flavor reminiscent of orchids. There are several stories relating the tea’s origins, but our favorite involves a tea farmer. Legend has it that he would walk daily past a ramshackle temple containing an iron statue of Kuan Yin (the Goddess of Mercy). He couldn’t afford to repair the temple, but he tended and cleaned it and lit incense regularly. One night, the goddess appeared in a dream and told him to search for treasure in a cave behind the temple. The next day, the farmer found a tea shoot, which he cultivated and eventually named Ti Kuan Yin.
Steeping Instructions: Pour 6 oz. heated water (185-195˚F) over 1 teaspoon tea leaves and steep 2-5 minutes. Remove leaves and enjoy. Re-steep as desired.