Anxi Ti Kwan Yin Sour (Tieguanyin)

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(3 customer reviews)

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About Anxi Ti Kwan Yin Sour (Tieguanyin)

Our Sour-Style Tieguanyin is an uncommon and polarising type of Tieguanyin; it is either loved or hated! The production methods dehydrate the tea leaves to a water content of only 20-30%; the final dry tea leaves smell very sour, but the sourness is only very light in the taste. The main difference in production is in the shaking time: the leaves are shaken much less for Sour-Style Tieguanyin. Instead, the tea leaves are left to sit for a long time. Fixation waits until the morning of the next day when the grass scent has totally disappeared and been replaced by the sour aroma.

This style of Tieguanyin was actually invented by accident when a hot, rainy day made some tea growers feel too dizzy and short of breath to fire the tea, which was just left to sit. The next day, they found the tea had already turned sour. However, they sold it nonetheless and it proved very popular. Since then, tea growers have made this style of Tieguanyin on purpose.

Appearance & Taste

Anxi Ti Kwan Yin Sour (Tieguanyin)

Sour-Style Tieguanyin is usually between dark green and yellowish green in colour. The taste is very strong; it is neither delicate nor elegant. Our Sour-Style Tieguanyin is of good quality with an outstanding fresh taste – a sweet, floral flavour mixed with a light sour scent and sweet aftertaste. The strong aroma of this type of Tieguanyin often makes it attractive to people new to this kind of oolong. It is often a favourite among those who prefer strong-tasting tea.

Taste: Mineral, Orchid, Sour, Sweet

Brewing Guide

2 teaspoon(s)

100°C (125ml)

2-5 mins


4 tsp

100°C (250ml)

2-5 mins


8 tsp

100°C (500ml)

2-5 mins


For simple glass vessel / teapot brewing:

You can brew less tea leaves with more hot water for longer brewing time. Use 2 teaspoons of the tea for 125ml teacup, 4 teaspoons for 250ml glass or 8 teaspoons for 500ml teapot.

For Ti Kwan Yin (Tieguanyin) or Taiwan Oolong tea, using 100°C hot water to infuse tea leaves for around 2-5 minutes. Re-steep for around one further infusion. (Adjust by personal taste)

For Gongfu Style:

-Detailed processes:

  • Warm the Gaiwan/tiny teapot with hot water; discard the water afterwards
  • Add 1g Oolong tea for every 20ml – 30ml of water (recommend 5g to 8g tea leaves, adjust by personal taste)
  • Pour hot water (100 °C) into the clay teapot / Gaiwan, tilt it, slowly rotating it two times and quickly discard the water (this step is for waking up tea leaves and stimulating the special aroma of the oolong tea)
  • Refill clay teapot/Gaiwan with hot water
  • Infuse tea for around 40s for first brew, extending extra 15s infusion time for the following brew.
  • Pour the steeped tea into serving cup and divided into small teacups and serve
  • Repeat 5-7 times for Ti Kwan Yin (Tieguanyin) or Taiwan Oolong tea



The main production area is in the west of Anxi County, a mountainous, always cloud-covered area. The annual average temperature there is 15-18℃, and the frost-free period is around 260-324 days. The annual rainfall is 1,700-1,900 mm and the relative humidity is over 78%. Acidic red soil is the most common soil type, which has a pH of 4.5-5.6; soil layers are deep. This is an excellent environment for the cultivation of tea trees.

Origin: Fujian

Picking & Production

Picking Tea

The Technology of making Oolong tea:

The process of making Tieguanyin Oolong Tea comprises the stages of picking, wilting, shaking, fixation (Stir-fixation), rolling and baking. Shaking is the most essential part. The main purpose of shaking is to monitor moisture evaporation. Continuous monitoring requires a maker to stay up all night. Through the shaking, the water contained in the fresh tea stems spreads into the leaves. This special water contains twice as much theanine and catechins as well as additional aromatic substances. Consequently, it is shaking that determines the special aroma of Tieguanyin. After shaking, the tea leaves are left to continue to ferment to the desired level; the next morning they are ready to be fired to destroy the enzymes, capturing the optimal level of aroma and texture. Once the shaking step is done, the tea leaves are left to continue to ferment to the desired level.

The technologies of making Tieguanyin can be divided into three main categories: Zhengchao, Xiaoqing and Tuosuan (Xiaoqing can also be divided into two subcategories – Xiaozheng and Xiaoqingtuo). The differences are complex, but they mainly relate to the delay before destroying the bacteria and enzymes in the leaves (fixation). The shaking methods used are also very different.

A longer delay before fixation results in a more sour taste, which some drinkers prefer. The word for the most delayed method, Tuosuan, literally means ‘delay-to-sour’.

Zhengchao/Zhengwei 正炒/正味Next Morning
Xiaozheng 消正Next Noon
Xiaoqing 消青Next Afternoon
Xiaosuan消酸Next Evening
Tuosuan 拖酸The Day After Tomorrow Morning

Production Time: Spring

3 reviews for Anxi Ti Kwan Yin Sour (Tieguanyin)

  1. English

    Alicia T.

    Excellent aroma and wonderfully subtle flavour. The tea has delicate undercurrents of sourness. Recommended to anyone who likes a special taste.

  2. English

    Gabrielle S.

    I’m an adventurous person so I decided to give this unusual tea a try, and I’m so glad I did! This tea really clears the palate and is perfect served with a meal, where the subtle sourness really makes the food shine!

  3. English

    David W.

    This tea looks like little buds of green leaves, but don’t let the quaint appearance fool you, this tea is strong in complex sweet and sour flavours.

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