Chuan Tong Tie Guan Yin (Old Style Tie Guan Yin) Anxi Wulong 2012

Chuan Tong Tie Guan Yin (Old Style Tie Guan Yin) Anxi Wulong 2012

Tie Guan Yin is the most famous tea bush in Anxi City, which lies in Fujian Province. “Tie” meaning "iron", refers to the density of this tightly twisted tea or its dark oxidized color. It is a common Chinese habit to describe heavy objects with this term. "Guan Yin" is the name of the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion who, according to legend, appeared in a dream of Wei Yin, a devout Buddhist tea farmer living during the early 18th century. In the dream, Guan Yin told Wei Yin to look in the cave behind the local shrine. There he found a single tea shoot, which he planted and cultivated into the mother bush for Anxi city’s most famous variety of tea. Tea from this legendary cultivar of tea bush has since been known as Tie Guan Yin.

Although wulong tea made from Tie Guan Yin tea bushes has long been popular, the style in which it is produced has changed considerably over the years. With the introduction of Taiwanese processing techniques in the mid 1990s and rising popularity of lighter roasted and less oxidized teas during this decade, the finished leaf of Tie Guan Yin has shifted in appearance from dark brown, flat and leafy to light green and tightly rolled.

Our Old Style Tie Guan Yin is, in part, a throw back to the way this tea was produced before the beginning of this century. The “Old Style”, professionally referred to as “Long Xiang Xing” or "concentrated aroma style”, makes good use of medium to heavy oxidation and charcoal roasting in contrast to the newer, greener and lighter roasted “Qing Xiang Xing” or “light aroma style.” The processing involves 3 to 4 periods of roasting, totaling about 15 hours. This technique creates a stable tea with a balanced roasted flavor immediately noticeable on the first infusion. It is said that “real” wulong fans in China appreciate this stronger roasted flavor. Although this tea doesn’t retain the traditional flat shape of Long Xiang Xing, it offers a stunning example of Tie Guan Yin’s classic flavor profile.

With its style becoming something of a rarity on the Anxi market, we like to think of this tea as a bit of a tribute to the old school and the seasoned tea drinker who remembers the days when this tea’s rich body and aftertaste were higher prized than a flowery aroma.

Tea Origin: Fujian Province
Tea Bush: Tie Guan Yin Bush
Tea Master: Zhang Qing Jian
Harvest Time: April-May
Picking Standard: one slightly opened leaf with three mature leaves

Brewing Guidelines
Teaware: 12 oz. glass, porcelain or yi xing clay pot
Amount: ¾ Tbs of tea leaves
Water: 212°F (boiling) filtered water
Infusion: First infusion at least 2 minutes. The leaves are good for 7 infusions.

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old style tie guan yin wulong dry leaves
old style tie guan yin wulong cupping
old style tie guan yin wulong leaf configuation
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Product rating

Customer Reviews

  • Author: John Andrew Tucker
    The special thing about this TGY is the roast level, which makes itself apparent in the aroma of the dried leaves, provides wonderful body while sipping, and lingers on the wet leaves. This tea is particularly suitable for tossing a few grams in a large glass or chawan and enjoying its multifaceted flavor over a lengthy sitting. I would give this one 5 stars but can't seem to change the rating manually.