Tieguanyin Oolong Tea
Shen's Iron Goddess Double Wins

Breaking news! Shen's Silver Medallist Tieguanyin oolong tea won medals for the second consecutive time this year.

When I received Shen's email on November 2007, I was both excited and miffed.

Okay, excited was a bit of understatement. I was literally jumping up and down.

I have been following his tea garden for 6 months and was mightily impressed by his Tieguanyin oolong tea, especially the Champagne Goddess and Orchid Aroma.

So when he told me that Champagne Goddess has won the Merit Award, I wasn't too surprised.

I was miffed because he didn't tell me about his highest grade tea - Silver Medallist.

It was only later I learned why.

Tieguanyin Wang Competition

This year's Anxi county autumn harvest arrived around 5 October 2007.

The Competition was held in China's Fujian Province Quanzhou on 10 November. 117 tea gardens took part with their Tieguanyin Wang (Iron Goddess King).

Shen's Silver Medallist won the Silver Award. His Champagne Goddess won a Merit Award.

The same Silver Medallist Tea won the Bronze Award during the Spring 2007 competition. It is the only tea in 2007 to have won two awards in the same year.

The Nature Of Tea Competition

China is the most sophisticated tea drinking nation in the world. For millennia, this has been a country of emperors and scholars with the most discriminating taste.

Tea universities and institutes are everywhere. They probably have more tea professionals than the rest of the world combined.

The tea competition is a routine affair. It is an opportunity for professionals to play judge and companies to showcase their products.

It is also an opportunity for companies to manipulate the publicity generated to their advantage.


Use their very best tea leaves to make a tiny amount of highest quality tea. Enter them in a competition. Win an award. Then use the award to sell lower grade tea.

Rare Opportunity

Put another way, award-winning companies do not necessarily sell their best teas. In China, without an insider's edge, you won't get anywhere near their highest grade tea.

Their highest quality tea is not for sale. It is made purely for publicity and prestige.

So when Shen told me he has just 1 kilogram of Silver Medallist in his inventory, I just can't wait to lay my hands on them!


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