Floral-like orchid notes with a smooth finish. This is an excellent vintage Ti Kwan Yin.
According to international sales figures, Ti Kwan Yin is the most popular Chinese Oolong worldwide. Like all Oolongs, Ti Kwan Yin is semi-fermented, meaning it falls roughly at the mid way point between black and green teas in terms of color, flavor, and intensity. Unlike other Oolongs, the process of making Ti Kwan Yin involves a longer drying process. As well, the raw leaf used to produce the tea is grown on a sub-varietal of Camellia sinensis. According to Fujian legend, this varietal was discovered by divine guidance hence its name, which loosely translates as Goddess of Mercy.
In the Buddhist tradition, the Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin, was known as a Boddhisatva, an enlightened being that has decided to stay on earth to bring others to enlightenment. Statues erected in her honor dot the Chinese countryside. As the ancient story goes, a tea maker in Fujian (where the style of tea originated) passed a statue beside a Buddhist temple that had been neglected and was overgrown with weeds. Not having enough money to fix the temple, he decided that at the very least he could afford to burn incense at the foot of the statue and sweep the yard on a regular basis. After a few months of diligently making this simple offering to Guanyin, the Goddess appeared in a dream to thank him. She told him about a cave near his home that contained a very special tea plant no one had ever seen before. The next day the man searched the cave and sure enough, found the shoot of a unique tea bush. He cultivated the bush, and produced a crop of tea that he named after the goddess. Thanks to her benevolence, the tea maker sold more tea than ever before and went on to live a healthy and prosperous life.