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Legends of the Leaf: Tie Guan Yin

Tie Guan Yin is a tightly rolled oolong that originated in the Anxi Province of China. This type of tea requires a high degree of skill to produce because there are many complex steps of rolling and roasting. It is named after Guanyin, also known as the Goddess of Mercy, Bodhistattva that usually depicted as being female. Legend has it that there was once a poor farmer who cared for a rundown temple that held an iron statue of Guanyin. One night she appeared to him in a dream and told him to look in a cave behind the temple for a treasure. Inside, he found a single tea seedling. He shared cuttings of this plant with his neighbors and his village prospered. There are many different versions of this story but the basic story is generally the same. To this day Tie Guan Yin has a close association with tea, especially oolong. I’ve even spotted statues of her in Teavana! What is your favorite tea legend?

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.