Tie Quan Yin
The tea makers’ experience is crucial in determining the precise timing needed, when making Tie Quan Yin (Iron Goddess) Tea.
I once asked a tea master with over 50 years experience how he knew the tea had been kneaded enough, he told me that your hands would know.
Tea making like this is an ancient craft and has little to do with the mass produced dust we find from some commercial brands. When you see it for the first time, I think that most people don’t think tea is made like that. Tie Quan Yin and many other Oolongs are rolled into these tight little pebbles. This tight little twist is accomplished by rolling it over and over and over again.
The leaves go into a ball which is then tightly, tightly rolled, and then rolled again in the secondary machine and the roller. Then it rests a little bit, it comes out, it’s broken apart, it goes back into the dryer so it’s heated up again then it’s broken apart. That happens about 40 or 50 times.
Really, Oolongs are difficult teas to make and can take up to 36 hours and there is much that can go wrong and that can lead to an inferior product, so the tea masters hand, the skill is very important.