In continuing with my fervent wishes for spring to arrive, I am sipping a very fragrant Floral Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong this morning. Inhaling the aroma of this tea brings memories of that first moment in late spring when you are standing by an open window and the breeze brings in the heady scent of lilac to fill your senses.
Aromatherapy in a cup to dispel the iciness of a long, harsh winter that is still hanging on into February.
The leaves are intensely green, especially after steeping, and rolled into curled shapes during processing. This tea is lightly oxidized making it more like a green tea, with vegetal notes in the flavor. The lilac fragrance bursts its sweetness in my mouth with each sip.
This tea is named after Guan Yin (also spelled Quan Yin or Kwan Yin), the Chinese Goddess of Mercy. Well loved by her people, there are many stories about her kindness and compassion. It is said that she was a Buddhist many years ago and, after living a life filled with great love and giving, she had earned her place in Nirvana, or heaven. As she was passing through the gates, she heard a cry of anguish come from the Earth. She decided to turn back to the earth and find her immortality in the hearts of the suffering. Her Chinese name roughly translates to “The One Who Hear the Cries of the World”.
I steeped the leaves in water under the boiling point (about 190 degrees F) for 3 minutes. The leaves gently released and opened during their time in the hot water. It’s like a tea leaf’s little hot tub. Aaahhhh…..
The liquor is a very pale straw color, the same color as my new teabowl. I purchased a set of 4 teabowls from In Pursuit of Tea. Handmade in Japan, each tea bowl hold approximately 4 ounces. Very sweet.
A kind word is like a spring day.