What is Tie Guan Yin tea?
Tie Guan Yin Tea is a type of oolong tea that has a flowery fragrance similar to that of orchids. This type of oolong tea is cultivated in Fujian province in China. It is also a premium variety that is harvested by hand from tea orchards located in high altitudes. In addition, tie guan yin tea is the most popular oolong tea in China. It is rich in natural plant nutrients, including antioxidants and for this reason it is associated with a number of important health benefits.
How is Tie Guan Yin Tea processed?
Processing tie guan yin tea is much more complicated when compared to processing other types of oolong teas. This is because tie guan yin tea is a premium variety of oolong tea , meaning that it requires careful processing to maintain its premium quality. The following are the steps that are involved in the processing of tie guan yin tea:
1. Plucking the tea leaves
For best results, the tea leaves should be picked from 11 am to 2 pm. This is the time that the sun is strongest. This helps ensure high quality tie guan yin tea. The best way to pick the tea leaves is by using shears or clippers.
2. Drying the leaves in the sun
Drying the tea leaves in the sun is the most preferred method. However, you must ensure that the tea does not get burned. Ideally, move the tea using bamboo dust pans.
3. Cooling the tea leaves
When you have dried the tea leaves enough, remove them from the sun and spread them out to cool in order to prevent them from turning yellow.
4. Tossing the tea leaves
This involves turning the tea carefully in a special bamboo drum until the edges become slightly bruised. Tossing essentially helps accelerate oxidation. It is a critical step in the process and actually impacts the quality of the tie guan yin tea that results. However, it is important not to turn the drum too much.
5. Drying the tea leaves in an air conditioned environment
This involves putting the tea leaves into a storage area that is air conditioned and then spreading them thinly to for proper oxidation.
6. Repeating the tossing and drying steps in the process as needed.
The number of times you need to repeat these steps depends on a number of factors, including weather, plantation, and demand, among others.
7. Stopping the oxidation process
This requires you to use a special round pan.
8. Curling the tea
This involves a few steps as follows:
– Wrapping the tea leaves into a ball and then tumbling the ball in order to create a round, tight shape,
– Breaking up the ball,
– Drying the tea once again if it is too wet,
– Repeating the process until you achieve the most ideal shape.
9. Drying the tea leaves in order to make it easier to pack.
10. Sorting, grading, and packing the tea.
Brewing Instructions of Tie Guan Yin tea
The following are the steps that you need to take when brewing your tie guan yin tea:
1. Fill your traditional yixing (a traditional Chinese teapot made from purple clay) and porcelain cup halfway with hot water in order to preheat them.
2. Add two teaspoons of tea leaves into your yixing. Alternatively, you can use any other type of vessel and ensure that you add 2 teaspoons of tea leaves to every 8 oz of water.
3. Fill your teapot with water that is heated up to 90 to 95 degrees centigrade.
4. Place the lid on your yixing and allow the tea steep for two minutes.
5. Your tie guan yin tea is now ready for consumption and you can now pour it into your teacup and consume it.