High Mountain Tieguanyin

Anxi Wulong Tea 2018

A light, fresh and floral tea with a pure, clean flavor. A modern green-style Anxi wulong, this tea is made from Tieguanyin bushes grown on a high-elevation family farm in Anxi County. It is both lightly oxidized and lightly roasted, yielding a relatively mild and fragrant brew.

$12.38

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Tea Origin
Anxi County, Fujian Province, China

Tea Bush
Hongxin Tieguanyin (Red Heart Tieguanyin)

Tea Master
Zhang Shuiquan and Zhang Qingjian

Harvest Time
April-May

Picking Standard
Zhong kai mian

A light, fresh and floral tea with a pure, clean flavor. A modern green-style Anxi wulong, this tea is made from Tieguanyin bushes grown on a high-elevation family farm in Anxi County. It is both lightly oxidized and lightly roasted. The relatively mild and fragrant brew that results is well suited for the green tea drinker who is curious to explore some of the nuance of wulong tea without straying too far from a familiar flavor profile. Smoother, more delicate and slightly fancier than Ma Liu Mi (Monkey Picked).

We purchase our Anxi teas directly from the Zhang family of farmer-producers. The Zhang family only harvests 20 days out of the spring season, beginning after the first week of May in what is considered the “late Spring.” Their harvest time is naturally a bit later than other farms, simply because their high elevation farm is colder and their tea bushes react to the cold by yielding their leaves less quickly.

The Tieguanyin Tea Bush

A sprig of fresh Tieguanyin tea lying on the rim of a wooden tray.
A fresh sprig of tea showing the red blush of color on the youngest leaves, typical of the Hong Xin “Red Heart” Tieguanyin cultivar.

All of our Tieguanyin is made purely from the original Tieguanyin cultivar, and not blended with other local cultivars, as is the case with most Tieguanyin on the market today. The leaves used to craft this tea are grown in a higher (above 1000 m) mountain region that is far removed from Anxi City, where most Tieguanyin is made. In this high mountain region, the environment is relatively untouched and free from pollutants, and as as a result, the regions tea naturally carries a light wild flower aroma. This high-altitude cultivation also enables producers to grow the higher-quality Hong Xin “Red Heart” cultivar of Tieguanyin, which is better adapted to the cooler climate. Unlike the more common Lü Xin “Green Heart” cultivar grown at lower elevations, Hong Xin Tieguanyin displays a distinctive faint red blush in its youngest leaves, surrounded by mature green leaves.

History of Anxi Wulong

For many centuries, Anxi wulong was made in much the same way as rock wulong and Dan Cong wulong. This traditional style of wulong is what gave this type of tea its name, called wu long or “black dragon” after the long, dark, twisted shape of the finished loose tea leaves. However, in the 1990s, Anxi producers began replacing the long, low roast of the tea with a quick, hot roast to retain the leaves’ greener character. Other adjustments were made to the processing to produce a much lighter, less oxidized, and intensely floral tea that was much more similar to a green tea. Because green tea has always been and remains the most popular type of tea in China, green-style Anxi wulong was wulong producers’ attempt to capture some of the very large domestic Chinese market for green tea. This tactic was extremely successful, and modern green Anxi wulong has become incredibly popular. The compact pearl style was introduced to protect the leaf from breakage during transport. These days, green-style Anxi wulong pearls have become the face of Anxi wulong in China.

Some Anxi producers are now slowly moving back to making Chuantong Tieguanyin in the traditional way, with the darker roast and the long, twisted leaves. Both methods of processing yield very different end results, but both benefit from the high quality and unique clean character of the Tieguanyin bush.

No chemical fertilizer, pesticide, or herbicide was used in the production of this tea. Click here to read more about our promise to fair trade and the environment.

 

 

High Mountain Tieguanyin brewing guidelines

5 grams (1.5 Tb) tea

12 oz 100°C (212ºF) water

3 min. first infusion

At least 4 infusions: 3, 3, 5, 5 minutes