Charcoal-Roasted Tieguanyin

As if in unanimous accord, heads have nodded upon the first encounter with this satiating liquid. Whether it signals a recognition of the deeper Nong Xiang flavors of molten sugar and cream—nuanced in this case with aromas of toffee apples and roasted nuts at a nightly carnival—or a nod towards the meticulous refinement by a true tea master, the suntan brew seeks to satisfy any discerning drinker. It is the higher oxidation and roasting over pine-wood charcoal, several times over, that defines this traditional category against Tieguanyin's more modern, greener guise, giving a unique tangy minerality and a whiff of…latte macchiato, perhaps?

About the maker

This tea was created by Master Chen, a tea master whose goal is to find a balance between mainstream bright green Tieguanyin and traditional deeply oxidized oolongs: a Tieguanyin processed in the Taiwanese way, Master Chen would say. With Anxi moving away from age-old tradition, this style of tea is becoming rarer; let us hope that such tea masters continue to strive to keep the tradition alive.


Master Chen brewing two of his traditional Tieguanyin during our visit to his factory.

  • ORIGIN: Longjuan, Anxi, Quanzhou, Fujian, China
  • MEANING: Iron Guanyin (tie guan yin)
  • CULTIVAR: Tieguanyin
  • HARVEST TIME: Spring 2021
  • TASTE: Latte macchiato, apple, candied nuts


  • Quantity: 6g / 500ml
  • Water temperature: 100°C
  • Infusion time: 5 min
  • Quantity: 3g / 100ml
  • Water temperature: 100°C
  • 3 infusions: 45, 60, 60 sec

For best results in gongfu cha, brew in the traditional gaiwan or in a Yixing teapot. Too high water temperature would burn the leaves, resulting in bitter taste.