I have bought this tea a couple of times from Gong Fu, and really enjoy it. I would have to call it the French Roast of oolongs, for I really cannot imagine a more heavily baked tea. The appearance of the dry leaf is really quite different from others. They are very dark, almost carmelized-looking rolled nuggets of tea leaves. I don’t know if tea leaves carmelize, so let’s leave it as a waxy appearance. No matter how many times you infuse it, the leaves do not really open up fully like other oolongs; rather they hold their crumpled shape throughout infusing. Evidently, these leaves’ agony was on the roasting rack. Where the tea really shines for me is during the second and third infusions, where the chocolate and coffee notes really come out. For some reason, I usually choose to prepare this in my Chatsford teapot like I would a black tea. I will have to try it in a gaiwan. I usually prepare it as directed 205 for three minutes.
The Iron Goddess
This especially bold oolong, from Nantou County in central Taiwan, is produced only from mature leaves that are grown at an elevation above 3,500 feet. Its toasty aroma and bitter-sweet chocolate taste are the result of a skillful tea master applying a “high roast” during the final stage of processing.