Category Archives: Tea Legends

The Legend of Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tien Quan Yin) Oolong tea

Legend has it that a poor farmer in named Wei Anxi County in China maintained an ancient run down temple to the Bodhisattva Quan Yin, the Bodhisattva of compassion. One night, he was visited by the Bodhisattva in a dream, and was told to visit a particular spot for his reward, which he was instructed to share with his entire community. At this spot, Wei found a tiny sapling, which he nurtured until it grew into a great tea plant, from which all the Ti Quan Yin tea now derives.

The interesting part of this legend is that this is an incredibly tea, and the Anxi County is in fact where this special type of tea originated.

From Daruma’s Eyelids

One story tells of how tea came from the eyes of Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Zen (whom the Japanese call Daruma). The tale has him sailing from India to China, and upon his arrival he sat facing the wall at Shaolin Temple unmoving for nine years. At one point during is meditation, he fell asleep momentarily. He quickly cut off his eyelids so that his eyes would never again close and detract him from his meditation. Where his eyelids landed on the ground, Quan Yin, the deity, made tea plants sprout to aid him, and all followers of Zen, on his path to enlightenment.

Coincidentally, the Japanese characters for tea leaf and eyelid are the same, which some claim gave rise to this particular legend.