Her name is Tie Kuan Yin. It means the Iron Goddess of Mercy, but to us she’s the Goddess of Tea.
According to Chinese legend, Kuan Yin’s temple was located in the Fujian province of China. At one point the temple became very dilapidated. A poor farmer took notice, and whenever he had a chance he would sweep the temple floors, burn incense, and clean her statue.
One night, the Goddess appeared to the farmer in a dream. She told him that behind her temple was a cave in which he would find a treasure that would last for generations. In the morning he rushed to the cave, but only found a small tea plant. He carefully cultivated the plant, which grew to produce an exquisitely fragrant tea. The farmer shared the tea plant cuttings with his village, and soon the entire community prospered. Today, the Tie Kuan Yin tea varietal is still one of the most famous teas in China.
Like the farmer sharing his tea plants, tea is best when shared. Share a pot of our Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong Tea, and enjoy the woodsy, sweet nectar, re-infusing the same leaves over and over for many cups of tea.
Kuan Yin’s statue watches over us at the Mission-Castro Tea Lounge, reminding us to celebrate community and devotion each day. Sip a cup of tea in her honor, and perhaps you too will feel a touch of the divine!