Iron Goddess Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea

Iron Goddess TeaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Dachi Tea

Tea Description:

Commonly referred to as a Tie Guan Yin, the Iron Goddess Oolong has a mature, nutty, smoky aroma that leads you nicely into a very full-bodied tea with the puckering effect of citrus fruit. The sweet linger of this tea reminds you of dried apricots, but the woodsy and earthy taste which comes from the deep roast could well lead the mature palette to pick up more savoury notes.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

A really lovely Iron Goddess Oolong Tea from Dachi Tea!  This is a Taiwanese Tie Guan Yin – so you’ll experience more of the roasty-toasty, nutty flavors with this tea as opposed to the creamy, floral notes of a jade/greener Tie Guan Yin.

To brew this, I measured a bamboo scoop of the tightly wound pellets of tea into the bowl of my gaiwan.  I heated my kettle to 180°F and poured just enough water over the leaves to cover them.  Then I let this steep for 15 seconds to awaken the leaves.  After straining off the liquid and discarding, I filled the gaiwan with hot water and let it steep for 45 seconds for the first infusion.  For each subsequent infusion, I added 15 seconds.  Each cup is the combination of two infusions, so my first cup is infusions 1 and 2, the second cup is infusions 3 and 4 … and so on!

Iron Goddess Tea 2

The flavor is very much what I’d expect from a top-notch roasted Tie Guan Yin.  I must say that my experiences with Dachi Tea thus far have all been very positive – this is a company you really should experience!

My first cup is smooth, sweet and toasty.  It’s nutty, fruity and creamy … and oh-so-wonderful to sip!  It’s not bitter (I rarely encounter an Oolong that is!) and there’s very little astringency to this cup.  Just a hint of tangy ‘pucker’ at the end that works with this tea because I’m also picking up on some lovely citrus-y notes toward the tail.  This tangy quality plays well to that citrus tone.

As I neared the bottom of my cup, I also started picking up on the apricot notes as the description above suggests – and I like the way the sweet apricot flavors contrast with some of the earthier, woodsier notes of the tea and how those earthy, woodsy notes complement the the roasted nutty flavors.  It’s a beautiful medley of tastes in one teacup.

The second cup was not quite as creamy as the first cup – but still just as flavorful.  That is to say that the texture was thinner now, not as creamy feeling on the palate, but I’m still getting delicious nutty notes that remind me of freshly roasted chestnuts and that really pleasant citrus note toward the tail.  The flavors I experienced in the first cup are still there for the second and they’re better defined now.

With my last cup (cup 3) I found the flavors starting to mellow and become more unified.  I could still taste the toasted nutty flavors and the sweet apricot notes, the notes of wood and earth and citrus, but they seemed to have less distinction between them, like they were melding into a seamless flavor.

Another really fascinating cup of tea from Dachi Tea – I’ve loved every cup that I’ve tasted from them!  This is a must try company!

Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea

TiKuanYinTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Fong Mong Tea

Tea Description:

Adopting pure An-Xi Ti Kuan Yin tea seeds, and producing under Taiwan traditional technique standards, medium fermented also heavy baked, traditional Ti Kuan Yin Oolong tea is leading out a unique Kuan Yin aroma differing greatly from Chinese one, deeply presenting authentic Taiwanese flavor of Ti Kuan Yin.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

When I took my first sip of this tea, I found myself thinking:  “This is really different.  Isn’t this a Ti Kuan Yin?”  I’m used to Ti Kuan Yin tasting more vegetal and floral, but this Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea from Fong Mong Tea tastes roasted and nutty.

Then I read the description above.  This is a Taiwanese Ti Kuan Yin and instead of the greener type Oolong, this one has been baked which gives it that roasty-toasty flavor.  Where I’m usually tasting floral notes, I’m experiencing more of a sweet, nutty flavor.

To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan.  I started with a quick 15 second rinse in hot water.  Then I steeped the first infusion for 45 seconds (the water was heated to 180°F) and strained the tea into my cup.  I added 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.  The first cup was made up of the first two infusions; my second cup was infusions 3 and 4 … and so on.

My first cup is very much what I experienced above:  sweet, roasted and nutty.  I taste light honey-like notes.  It has a very smooth and silky mouthfeel.  This cup isn’t as creamy as other Ti Kuan Yin teas I’ve tasted, this is more mineral-y.  Different, but I am enjoying what makes it different.

My second cup has stronger roasted notes with more pronounced notes of mineral.  The roasted flavor is so strong that it almost has a coffee-like flavor, only this is smoother than a typical cup of coffee and lacks the bitterness.  This is really smooth and has very little astringency.  This second cup of coffee truly evokes thoughts of a really good cup of coffee, only better – because it’s tea.

My third and final cup was very similar to the first two – the roasted notes were very well-defined and again – a lot like a cup of coffee only better.  This time, I do pick up on more astringency – I experience a light dryness toward the tail.  It’s still not very pronounced, though, so those who tend to shy away at the word “astringency” shouldn’t shy away from this tea because the astringency is barely noticeable.

A very lovely – and different! – Ti Kuan Yin!