In some parts of rural China, Blue Spring Oolong is known as "the compassionate oolong." The name stems from an ancient legend that highlights the benevolence of Guan Yin, namesake of Ti Kuan Yin, the leaf-style of Blue Spring. Guan Yin was a Bodhisattva, a Buddhist term that describes a being who has attained enlightenment (like the Buddha) but decides to return to earth to lead other and help make their lives better. According to Buddhist belief, every Bodhisattvas by their very nature is compassionate toward others, but Guan Yin, known also as the "Iron Goddess of Mercy" was thought to embody the compassion of all enlightened Buddha-like beings.
According to the ancient tale, there was an ancient village, the name of which has long been forgotten that was suffering from a great drought. For many months, not a drop of water fell from the sky. The only moisture to be had was collected from nets placed on the ground to collect dew during the night. Drinking water was in incredibly short supply and to make matters worse, the local tea crop the village relied on for income had all but withered away to nothing. In desperation the villagers began to make offerings of what little they had to the only deity they thought might be able to help, Guan Yin.
After a week or so of offerings, a stranger appeared in the village driving a herd of goats. The stranger asked the villagers if his goats might have some water as they had been walking for days. Not wanting to turn down a stranger's request, the villagers poured what little water they had collected from the nets into a pitcher and handed it to the goat herder. Accepting the water the goat herder said, "You have honored my request and shown me the compassion that I will now show you." With that the stranger removed his cloak to reveal that he was in fact a she, the Iron Goddess of Mercy, Guan Yin. Guan Yin then tipped the pitcher of water out. At the spot where the water hit, a miraculous spring of water began to gush out of the dry ground. The village was saved! Tea growers in the village decided that to honor the goddess, they would begin adding delicate blue mallow flower petals to their tea to represent the crystal blue water of the miraculous spring – Blue Spring Oolong was born!
We're pleased to offer this exceptional tea for the first time in North America. Aside from its enchanting heritage Blue Spring Oolong is truly exceptional in the cup-layers of orchid blend with notes of wheat bread and hints of dry white wine on the finish. Oolongs are best enjoyed when the leaves are briefly infused with hot water, which is then poured immediately off. The tea is then reinfused and the tea is poured to the lucky guest after about 1 minute. The leaves may be reinfused several times, which each resulting infusion yielding different liquor from the preceding cup.