Ti Kuan Yin ~ Arbor Teas

For a few years now, Arbor Teas has been a popular choice in town (if not destination) for tea. They DO have a storefront, however, I have consistently failed to locate it. The address given on Yelp is wrong and after I tried more than once to track it down, I’ve all but given up. I’ve seen photos of the storefront but never managed to locate the correct building. Having my some of father’s incredible gift for navigation, I’ve never actually been stumped before (yup major boast sorry) so it’s actually extremely annoying. Also, they only hold half-day hours a few days during the work week, so i can only go looking for it if i have a day off during the week or leave way early.

As you might imagine, I haven’t had the opportunity to try a lot of Arbor Teas, but I’m impressed with their commitment to being totally organic, fair trade and even being environmentally conscious of their packaging footprint. I look forward to being able to try more of their teas eventually.

I’ve been a fan of Ti Kuan Yin as a variety of tea for a while now and I’ve had the opportunity to try 10-12 different kinds (my favorite is probably Rishi/Zingerman’s). Also known as Tieguanyin (铁观音) meaning literally “iron Guanyin” is named after the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion Avalokiteśvara, which in many East Asian traditions is generally referred to as the female goddess Guanyin (Kannon in Japanese). There are many variations, but they’re usually a greener oolong (the leaf actually looks like muddy brown) reminiscent of jasmine. Arbor Tea’s Ti Kuan Yin is no exception–aromatic and high in antioxidants, it has a jasmine-like gritty oolong texture, with a subtler and sweeter flavor than some of its contemporaries. It either has exactly the same, or a slight bit more caffeine than other Ti Kuan Yins I’ve tried.

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