Tieguanyin Tea (Iron Goddess)
What's Your Perfect Oolong?

Is Anxi Tieguanyin tea the perfect everyday tea?

For years, I searched high and low for a perfect everyday tea. When I finally found Shen's tea, I thought: "Wait a minute, isn't this the perfect everyday tea that I have been looking for?"

How would you describe your perfect everyday tea? Let me see how my answer compares to yours ...

Value For Money

If you compare the best with the best, you will find oolong tea more affordable than green tea.

There are two reasons for this:

  • Oolong tea leaves are larger and more mature. High grade green tea is harvested when the young buds/leaves are barely 2 centimeters long. Oolong tea leaves are at least twice as long and 4 times larger.

  • High grade oolong teas are harvested twice a year. The best green tea is only harvested once a year in spring.

And the Anxi Tieguanyin tea can seem a real steal...

Shen currently offers his AA grade Tieguanyin Wang (Iron Goddess King) at $9.95 per 50 grams.

Just 3.5 grams of his leaves will brew 5 cups of oolong tea, more than sufficient for most people's daily needs. You may be surprised to learn that this costs only 70 cents a day.

This seems all the more surprising given it is an Iron Goddess King that has been hand picked at 1,500 meters, from an organic certified tea farm that ranks among the best in Anxi county.

Organic Certification

The problem with drinking a half-matured leaf tea like an oolong is that it is more likely to be contaminated.

Tea plants accumulate substances from the environment. The older leaves are more prone to exposure from chemicals than the young tea shoots.

A lot of people think that buying a USDA certified organic tea will solve their problems. Well, it won't. Not totally.

To have total peace of mind, you need two things:

  • The tea should be grown in high altitude away from road traffic and pollution.

  • The tea should be organically grown without the use of pesticides.

There are a lot of great teas that are not organically certified. As long as they taste good, it is fine.

But as more plantation owners wake up to the advantages of certification, you would expect the better farms to be certified earlier.

Rich Flavours

Among the different types of tea, oolong tea is the most aromatic. Black tea may contain a greater variety of essential oils, but oolong tea is more highly concentrated.

There are at least 3 easy ways to spot the differences between low and high quality oolong tea:

  • Steep the first brew in hot water for 5 minutes and drink. You will find a low grade to be so bitter so as to be undrinkable.

  • A low grade, which usually has been flavored, can last 3 infusions. A high grade can easily last 5 to 9 infusions.

  • A high grade has an intoxicating aroma that is ever so refreshing and soothing

It is a road of no return. Once you have tasted a Tieguanyin Wang (Iron Goddess King), you won't go back to an ordinary oolong tea.

Easy To Brew

Tea appreciation is as much about the tea as the brewer. You want to utilize the full potential of your beloved tea, but without undue hassles to yourself.

Most oolong teas, especially the darker and more oxidised ones, thrive in claypots.

If you are just starting out, you might want begin with a tea that does not require special equipment.

Famous oolong teas such as the Wuyi oolong and Phoenix Dancong don't require fancy cups and mugs.

The exception is Tieguanyin tea.

Scientific study has found that it contains the highest levels of aromatic substances of any tea plants. These "nose" flavors are brought out by brewing in  hard vessels rather than claypots.

You can obtain excellent results using ordinary cups. Tieguanyin tea is one of the Famous Four, but it is great for beginners too!


In China Fujian province, where people care a lot about their tea, humidity is a constant enemy.

Standard practice now is to vacuum-pack in 7-gram little nuggets, which then stay fresh for up to 2 years.

You don't have to worry about finding airtight containers to keep the tea fresh.

You can brew it wherever you like, as long as there is a supply of hot water.

What do you think? Click to share with me your best tea!

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