Joy In the Morning
My joy in the morning is to get comfortable on my reading couch with my favorite devotional book and a cup of tea. A little quiet time for my spirit first, and then an invigorating cup of tea afterwards always does wonders for my soul and body that lasts the entire day. This morning, my tea was a cup of Tie Guan Yin.
As I sipped, I wondered about the name—Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy or Iron Buddha). I decided to look it up and found two explanations: one sounded somewhat historical and the other, romantic. I'll give you the romantic one.
A tea farmer who lived in Anxi in the early 1700s was a devout Buddhist. Every morning he would offer up a cup of tea to an iron statue of the Goddess of Mercy. One night he dreamed of a beautiful fragrant tea bush among the rocks under a beam of morning sun. The next morning, when he went up the mountain to get firewood, to his joy and surprise, he saw such a plant! He carefully removed it and planted it in his garden and it produced the most unusual tea. In gratitude, he named the tea after the Goddess. Eventually Tie Guan Yin became the top named tribute tea from the Fukien province to the Imperial Palace.
Tie Guan Yin is an Oolong tea and can be light, medium, or aged, depending on the amount of oxidation. Buckhead Tea’s Tie Guan Yin is from it's birthplace, Anxi, and it is light. This means that it is picked in the spring and the amount of oxidation is light so that it is closer to green tea in nature.
The tea leaves are strong with a characteristic curved tip, and the underside shows clear veins. The tea is pale gold with a greenish tint which is somewhat deceptive because it is nevertheless a strong tea with a smooth, clean, fragrant taste. It is best as a morning tea. The leaves can be steeped a couple times and still enjoyable.
Light Tie Guan Yin is believed to be a cleansing, slimming and anti-aging tea. Medium Tie Guan Yin is a genuine Oolong tea, usually picked in the autumn. Aged Tie Guan Yin has the highest amount of oxidation because it has been aged. I have kept Tie Guan Yin tea in a can for over twenty years and it is still delicious—still fragrant but in an earthy way. --Pin Pin