My friend Kevin in Canada shared the history about this tea and he said he drinks it all of the time. Thanks Kevin!!! This oolong is typically close to a green tea, with only a little fermentation. Subsequently, it has a very flowery, delicate aroma without the green tea "grassiness" or astringency. It is said to have the flowery taste of an orchid.
There are two legends about the tea that I will share in this post. If you get the chance to visit an Asian market...pick your self up some of this delightful tea!
Deep in the heart of Fujian's Anxi County there was a rundown temple that held inside an iron statue of Guan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion) was repaired and became a beacon for the region. And Mr. Wei took joy in his daily trip to his tea fields, never failing to stop in appreciation of the beautiful temple. of Compassion. Every day, on his walk to his tea fields a poor farmer named Mr. Wei would pass by and reflect on the worsening condition of the temple. Something has to be done, thought Mr. Wei. But he did not have the means to repair the temple because he was poor. Instead the farmer brought a broom and some incense from his home. He swept the temple clean and lit the incense as an offering to Guan Yin. "It's the least I can do," he thought to himself. Twice a month for many months, he repeated the same task. Cleaning and lighting incense. One night, Guan Yin appeared to him in a dream. She told him of a cave behind the temple where a treasure awaited him. He was to take the treasure for himself, but also to share it with others. In the cave, the farmer found a single tea shoot. He planted it in his field and nurtured it into a large bush, of which the finest tea was produced. He gave cuttings of this rare plant to all his neighbors and began selling the tea under the name Tie Guan Yin, Iron Bodhisattva of Compassion. Over time, Mr. Wei and all his neighbors prospered.
Wang was a scholar who accidentally discovered the tea plant beneath the Guanyin rock in Xiping. He brought the plant back home for cultivation. When he visited Emperor Qianlong in the 6th year of his reign, he offered the tea as a gift from his native village. Emperor Qianlong was so impressed that he inquired about its origin. Since the tea was discovered beneath the Guanyin Rock, he decided to called it the Guanyin tea.