Tie Guan Yin is a Chinese green oolong that’s also known as ‘Iron Goddess of Mercy’. Tie Guan Yin is also traditionally roasted and sold as an oolong that's darker in color. However, Healthy Leaf is selling their 2017 un-roasted version of Tie Guan Yin, and sent me a little bit of it to review. So what’s so special about one of China’s most popular oolong teas? Let's find out!
Water Temperature - 185ºf
Dimensions - 4.5g of oolong for a 90ml vessel (5g per 100ml)
Tea Price - $13.50 for 50g
Steeps 1 - 4
At first, Iron Goddess tasted light and watery, as it didn’t have much flavor. However, as the tea had a chance to open up, a light green grass tasting note hit the tongue and left the mellow vegetal aftertaste of sugar snap peas. After a few more steeps, this tea’s body became thicker and ticker. Around the fourth steep, this tea was becoming a full-on broth.
Steeps 5 - 12
Iron Goddess continued to open up to a broth-like body. The tasting notes of green grass turned a little more leafy, as it left a cooling and refreshing aftertaste in the back of the throat. By the eight steep, the tasting notes of sugar snap peas began to dwindle along with this teas broth-like body. By the twelfth steep, there wasn’t much left of this tea as it was getting more and more mellow. I think it’s safe to say that by this point, this oolong had given its all, and was time to be put away. This Iron Goddess no longer had any mercy…
At first, this tea had a wonderful sweet aroma of freshly cut grass and sugar snap peas. After brewing this tea for multiple sessions, the sweet aroma of this tea never gets old. One thing I liked about this tea is that it had a strong backbone that made its tasting notes last throughout the session. Another thing I liked about this tea is how fresh it seemed to be. However, with almost all oolongs, it took a few steeps to open up (since oolongs are typically rolled into nuggets).
Overall, this tea is a great introduction to Chinese oolongs and is great for daily drinking. I recommend this tea to those who like green and un-roasted oolongs, along with those that enjoy something easy, yet complex and relaxing. So while Healthy Leaf Teas is just getting their start, they offer one relaxing version of Tie Guan Yin — which will continue to please many tea drinkers to come…