A best friend tea
Some teas have the particularity to always be on your side. I think Tie Guan Yin happens to be one of those because of its very special presence. You can always find a TGY to fit with your mood (green, dark, or in between) or any kind of weather (cold, hot, shiny, rainy, etc). If you choose high grade TGY, it will always be easy going. Indeed, you can brew it in many different ways, from the most simple (tea leaves in a cup or glass), to the most refined (Gong Fu), and it will generally be a success. It's really a good basic to have in a personal selection.
As many famous teas, TGY offers a great range of quality levels. This tea is grown in several districts of Fujian province. But often, the best qualities come from Anxi mountains, located in the south of this region. Checking the exact provenance of a tea is always an important thing to do. A serious and honest seller should be able to know where the tea comes from, when it was picked, and why this particular tea finds its place in his shop, and he will hopefully tell you the truth and explain his choices... If it's not the case, well, something's wrong!
A genuine TGY will give you a feeling of companionship, maybe because of its strong link with the energy of boddhisatva Guan Yin. Most of the time, you will be able to feel this powerful, yet very subtle Qi. In my opinion, this calm tea gives a relaxing sensation. I also find it very soft on the stomach, and it flows easily in the body. That's why I drink TGY when I wake up in the morning, because it makes me start the day in a gentle way. Consequently, my first thought goes to Guan Yin who is very important to me. I simply put the leaves in a cup, and pour water on it several times. A basic and easy way to prepare tea, but really pleasant in the morning, when I'm not quite awake!
Later in the day, I also like brewing TGY in a small Yixing clay tea pot (for the darker ones), or in a porcelain zhong, or tea pot (for the greener ones).
So I am now preparing a traditional style (the most oxidized type) TGY (a good quantity of leaves, and very hot water, something like 95°C, and very short brewing time), and some vibrant and flowery fragrances are coming to my nose, in a delicate way.
The liquor has a bright golden color. The taste is rich of flower notes in the first place, then I can feel sort of sweet aromas, maybe like caramel. And finally the after taste is deep and long lasting, while the texture is soft and silky.
TGY is surely the most famous wulong tea. Its full and mild aromas can easily be appreciated by everybody. In a certain way, this tea illustrates really well Guan Yin's compassionate energy.
Pictures of Ling Yin Temple (Hangzhou)
In China, Guan Yin's cult is very popular. She is known for hearing and responding any demand. Her statues (present in most buddhist temples) are always very visited because people come to give their gratitude.
Next time I'll brew a green style Tie Guan Yin... And it will be the occasion to talk more about Guan Yin, and her powerful Yin Qi.