Varietal: Huang Guan Yin
Alternate Name: Jin Guan Yin; Golden Goddess of Mercy
Harvest: Spring, 2011
Growing Region: Wuyi Shan Scenic Area, Fujian Province
Huang Guan Yin is a newer cross-bred/hybrid tea varietal currently being cultivated in the Wuyi and Anxi regions of Fujian province. Huang Guan Yin is a cross between Tie Guan Yin and Huang Jin Gui, two of Anxi County’s most well known oolong varietals. This version is grown and processed in the inner section of the Wuyi Mountains using the long, twisted leaf style and charcoal roasting method of other Wuyi oolongs. We also carry a green style, rolled, Anxi County version of this tea varietal under the name Jin Guan Yin. We have decided to use these two different names to differentiate these two very distinct teas, but, really, the names Jin Guan Yin and Huang Guan Yin could be used with either one.
Flavor and Aroma:
The flavor of the crystal clear, honey-amber infusion has a spicy sweetness with a hint of something that reminds me of the semi sweet digestive biscuits from the UK or perhaps graham crackers (the ones made from real Graham flour that still has the germ and the bran included from the wheat, not the super sweet white flour commercial garbage from your supermarket). The roast is medium, so the flavor of the first couple of infusions is marked by the roasted flavor and aroma common to traditionally dark-roasted Wuyi oolongs, while the subsequent infusions show the lovely, muted floral-sweet character of the Huang Jin Gui/Tie Guan Yin cross more prominently.
We strongly suggest Gong Fu style preparation with this tea. Rather than sticking to a specific weight of tea leaves to water volume measure, we recommend simply filling your gaiwan or Yixing style teapot 1/3 to 1/2 full of dry tea leaves, use water just under a boil and a series of short steepings. If you prefer to use a weight to volume measure, try starting with 8 grams of leaf in a 150 ml gaiwan or teapot.
For Western-style steeping, start with 2-3 grams of leaf (it’s hard to give a volume measure in teaspoons because of the large leaf style) per cup. Use water under a boil (195 degrees F), and steep for 3-5 minutes. Adjust the amount of leaf, steeping time, and water temperature used according to your preference.
General steeping guidelines for the different categories of Chinese tea and a short downloadable “how to” video on Gong Fu style tea preparation are available on our Chinese Tea Steeping Guide page.