25 Days of Tea: Day 12 (Iron Goddess of Mercy)

img_lg_dingdongI’ve been smitten with this type of Oolong tea since trying dim sum years ago in San Francisco while on a work trip in advertising. The oolong that was served was a darker more roasted, earthy brew and it unlocked a passion I wouldn’t know I had growing inside me until many years later when I started my journey with Pearl Fine Teas and took my first trip to the land of oolong: Taiwan.

This Iron Goddess of Mercy (aka Tieguanyin or Tie Kwan Yin), happens to be from mainland China – Fujian specifically. Our Iron Goddess of Mercy is crafted in the traditional style, with medium oxidation and moderate roasting/baking. This process creates an aroma and taste of roasted peach and apricot.

Legend has it that Tieguanyin was discovered by very poor farmer named Wei who lived in Fujian Province and liked to hike to his village temple each week to care for the building. As a gift for his generosity, the Goddess and merciful bodhisattva Guanyin visited Wei one night through a dream, alerting him that she had left a gift. The next day he found a precious tea tree growing behind the temple. He cared for and cultivated the plant and discovered it had a made a delicious and fragrant infusion. As the tender plant grew, he took and shared the seeds with his friends, which helped continue the proliferation of the tea plant. Here are some notes on this legendary tea:

• Overview:   A medium roasted oolong that has weight, balance, and feels makes the belly feel satisfied.
• Dry Leaf:    Small, tightly rolled balls
• Liquor (liquid):   Medium golden yellow
• Aroma:   Stewed stone fruit, slightly earthy, baked
• Flavor notes:    Stone fruit, roasted chestnut
• Brewing recommendation:     175-185° Fº pour water over leaves and “wash” the tea. Use the second steep as your first to taste (traditional method). Each steep time is around 45 seconds increasing each time (7-10+)
• Caffeine: Yes

If you are interested in giving todays pick a try, please visit the Pearl Fine Teas tea shop today and use code: 25TEAS12 at checkout to get 25% of Iron Goddess of Mercy– today only!

Happy Sipping!
-The Chief Leaf

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