Country of Origin: China
Region: Fujian Province
Grade: Ti Kuan Yin
Altitude: 2500 ft. above sea level
Cup Characteristics: A distinctive light cup that has hints of orchid-like flavor. Excellent for quiet moments.
Infusion: Pale green yellow liquor, tending slightly amber
Ingredients: Luxury oolong tea
Oolong tea is semi fermented which is one of the reasons it has such a unique character. The semi fermentation gives the tea a little bit more body than a green tea but less body than a black tea ... and interestingly it gives the flavor a very unique twist. You will see (particularly in the infused leaf) that the edges of the leaves are slightly bruised (brownish). The reason for this is that the leaves are lightly bruised to start the oxidation process. Because they are more full bodied than green teas, oolong teas must not be picked too early or at too tender a stage. They must be produced immediately. Unlike leaves for green tea, those destined to be oolong are wilted in the direct sun and then shaken in tubular bamboo baskets to bruise the leaf edges. The bruising is what makes the edges oxidize faster than the center. After 15-25 minutes (depending upon ambient temperature and humidity levels) the tea is fired, locking in the special flavor profile.
There are several grades of Ti Kuan Yin (a.k.a Iron Goddess of Mercy). This particular type is the premium grade - below the superior grade but has many of the characteristics of top Ti Kuan Yin Oolongs. It has been written that Ti Kuan Yin is at first bitter, then sweet and finishes with a fragrance, which lingers on your palate. We find this particular grade is sweet with a fragrant finish and has no bitter notes.