Tieguanyin is our second Oolong Kombucha. The first one was made with Monkey Picked Oolong, before the creation of this blog.
This one falls into the Premium group of our Kombucha. What it means is that most of the Kombucha in this category are brewed with a single & not so common teas. With two exceptions - the first one being Chaga-Cola, which is made from the 2nd & 3rd steeping of Chaga mushroom & the second being Guayusa (which is also traditionally enjoyed as a tea).
So, back to our lovely tea - Tieguanyin 鐵觀音 or literally Iron Goddess of Mercy, is a a premium variety of Chinese Oolong. It originated sometimes in the 19th century in Anxi County, in Fujijan Province, China. Like with most of the teas, it has many grades & it varies a bit depending on what area in Anxi, it is produced in.
There are two legends behind this tea & the whole process of getting it ready is quite complex. Here's what Wikipedia has to say on that: (1*)
" The processing of Tieguanyin tea is complex and requires expertise. Even if the tea leaf is of high raw quality and is plucked at the ideal time, if it is not processed correctly, its true character will not be shown. This is why the method of processing Tieguanyin tea was kept a secret.
1.plucking tea leaves (Chinese: 採青; pinyin: cǎi qīng)
2.sun withering (Chinese: 晒青; pinyin: shài qīng)
3.cooling (Chinese: 晾青; pinyin: liàng qīng)
4.tossing (Chinese: 搖青; pinyin: yáo qīng)
5.withering, this includes some oxidation. (Chinese: 萎凋; pinyin: wĕi diào)
6.fixation (Chinese: 殺青; pinyin: shā qīng)
7.rolling (Chinese: 揉捻; pinyin: róu niǎn) drying (Chinese: 烘乾; pinyin: hóng gān)
After drying some teas go through the added processes of roasting and scenting."
For this particular Kombucha we use First Grade Tieguanyin & the seller of this tea - Upton Tea Imports, describes it like this: (2*)
" An Oolong (Wu-Long) with a full, spicy flavor, hinting of chestnuts. Rich golden liquor with a heady aroma and a delightful aftertaste."
Here's the bottling stage of Tieguanyin Kombucha. As a rule, if you want to have an excellent tasting tea-based Kombucha, you have to start with a great tea. It won't work any other way
So, the tea that you use for your Kombucha is "blah", your Kombucha will not be that much better. In a lot of cases, the fermentation process brings out even more flavor nuances that the regular steeping would.
Interested how it tastes as a Kombucha? Stop by at our Kombucha Café to find out.
Ingredients: Filtered & Revitalized Water, Live Kombucha Cultures, BIO Unrefined Brown Sugar & Tieguanyin First Grade Oolong
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