Iron Goddess Black Dragon — Organic Grand Cru Anxi Oolong Fragrant Tie-Guan-Yin

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Our tightly rolled semi-oxidised TGY oolong from its original hometown in inner Anxi exudes a natural scent of spring blooms and produces a champagne gold tea that delivers a lingering souvenir of magnolia flowers, summer meadows, peaches and apricots. An instant pick-me-up perfect from morning till late afternoon. Delicious hot or cold.

The Story of Black Dragon Iron Goddess “Tie-Guan-Yin”

Iron Goddess aka Tie Guan Yin (铁观音 pronounced Tee-yay Kwan Yeen) or by its initials TGY, a favourite of the Southern Chinese and the Chinese diaspora, is amongst the most renowned of Chinese teas. The best of the TGY cultivars hail from inner Anxi County, where the mineral-rich high altitude terroir yields teas with a unique and distinct floral freshness and fruity accents.

Xiping Town is the historical birthplace of Tie Guan Yin and the mother bushes are still there right by the rock from which its name was derived. Tea produced from the Xiping cultivar is reputed to retain its flavour up to the seventh steep when prepared in the traditional way with a Chinese teapot.

Legend has it that in the year 1723, a poor farmer, Mr Wei Yin, who took it upon himself to tend regularly to a dilapidated temple of Guanyin, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, dreamt of the goddess telling him to look for a treasure beside a boulder at the back of the temple. The next morning, the farmer went behind the temple and lo and behold, next to the said boulder, was a lone leafy shrub. He nurtured the shrub and it grew into a large bush, yielding a flavourful infusion. Naturally, he named the boulder, Guanyin Rock and the tea, Guanyin Tea.

A decade or two later, Mr Wang, a scholar from the area, serendipitously stumbled upon the luxuriant tea shrub at Guanyin Rock. He brought home some cuttings and started his cultivation. In 1742, Mr Wang gifted his tea to a good friend who happened to be the Officer of Rituals in Emperor Qianlong’s court. This Officer Fang, a tea connoisseur, in turn presented the home-grown Anxi oolong to the emperor. Qianlong, so impressed by the tea’s floral fragrance and its note-worthy weight (“As heavy as iron” goes the Chinese expression), while at the same time bemused by the dream-come-true tales associated with the Goddess of Mercy, bestowed upon it the formidable name of “Iron Goddess of Mercy” and henceforth, TGY became an imperial tribute tea (federal taxes, if you prefer) and with that, its fame took off.