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Iron Goddess of Mercy

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Guan Yin riding a dragon

Once upon a time in Anxi County, Fujian, there lived a tea farmer. She often passed by a run-down temple to Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Seeing the temple in such a state saddened the farmer, so one day she decided to take matters into her own hands. She swept the temple clean and offered incense to the iron statue of Guanyin.

That night, the Goddess appeared to the farmer in a dream, and told her to look for a treasure in a nearby cave. The farmer found a tea shoot in the cave, and she carefully transplanted it in her own garden. The tea it produced was exceptional, and the farmer named it Tieguanyin - 'Iron Guan Yin'. Often translated as 'Iron Goddess of Mercy', it became one of the most famous teas in the world.

(The Wuyi Rock Tea, Tie Luo Han, often called 'Iron Arhat' or 'Iron Buddha' is a different, unrelated tea.)


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