Sea Dragon 2019 - Roasted Tieguanyin

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Sea Dragon - Roasted Tieguanyin
Anxi, Fujian, China

In the myth of Tieguanyin, a tea farmer felt that a temple he passed on his way to the market every day was in sad shape, and the goddess deserved better. So every day, he would go to the temple and clean it up somehow; sweep an area of floor, dust some cobwebs, clear some rubble, remove the stray snake. After a couple months, the temple looked beautiful, so he left an offering in the bowl and went on his way.

That night, in his sleep, the Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, came to him. He was on an ocean rock, and she came on a water dragon, thanking him for his efforts and promising him a gift behind the temple. The next morning, he ran behind it and found a tea plant growing. He potted it, ran back home, and tended to it, taking care until it was ready to harvest. He prepared it as a traditional oolong tea, (which was his trade, after all), and quickly found it was well beyond any tea he had ever made. He took it to market, and sold more than he ever had.

This is the modern tea we call "Iron Goddess of Mercy," or "Tieguanyin." Many disagree on how it is to be prepared, but we say whether fried or roasted, it's delicious. Ours, an oven-roasted light tieguanyin, is incredible. It's smooth, it's light, but it has the rich, toasty flavors one looks for in a roasted oolong with none of the astringency. This is easily a new favorite here at the shop among our oolong drinkers.

The 2019 batch we got is probably our favorite we've received yet. With all the rich vegetal flavors and roasty toasty flavors you expect from a good tieguanyin, this one also carries with it a rich, buttery aftertaste and texture that smooths it out so much you'll think you're drinking a Jinxuan or Milk oolong.

Brewing Suggestions

  • Use 7g (≈1 tbsp) of leaf per ½ liter (≈17 oz) of water.
  • Use 80°C/175°F water
  • Steep for 3 minutes, strain leaves, and enjoy!
    • Don't forget to try for multiple infusions! Just add time to each steep.
      • For under 2:00 steep times, add 30 sec.
      • For 2:00 to 4:00, add 1 minute.
      • For over 4:00, add 2 minutes or more.
    • Like milk in your tea? Steep an extra minute!
    • Too strong? Take off a minute, or use 5g of leaf instead!
    • Too light? Kick it up another minute, or use 10g of leaf instead!
    • Wanna do a tea latte?
      • Use 11g (≈1½ tbsp) of leaf per ½ liter (≈17 oz).
      • Steep 2 minutes in ¼ liter (≈8 oz) boiling (100°C/212°C) water
      • Add ¼ liter (≈8 oz) hot milk, steep another 3 minutes.
      • Strain leaves, add sugar if you like (1 tsp usually does it), and enjoy!


Chinese roasted tieguanyin oolong tea


We are a small independent operation, and as such we operate inside of our retail space, the Phoenix Pearl Tea Tavern in Red Lodge, MT. We bag teas for orders while also serving in-store customers, including making cups of tea, making food, and selling bulk and retail purchases. Our employees work as quickly as they can, but we don't have a warehouse to operate out of with dedicated employees. As such, orders may take anywhere from 1-5 business days to ship. Thank you for understanding.