didn’t enjoy this tea. bland, bitter, and loses its “flavor” after the second infusion.
“I wanted to revisit this tea and give it a proper evaluation for 2 reasons… 1.) This tea is still by far my favourite oolong. And Rishi must have just released their latest and...” Read full tasting note
“Thanks to fellow Steepsterite, Tamm, I have a hefty pouch of this tea in my drawer at work. It’s great for work since I can just sprinkle some leaves in a mug and fill it...” Read full tasting note
“After a whole day of studying I’m glad to relax with this cuppa! This tea has such tiny little rolled leaves. :3 super cute! While steeping the smell of this reminds me somewhat of brown rice...” Read full tasting note
“Hurrah! An incredible oolong with fantastic floral notes, a bright flavour with a subtle sweetness. Rishi has upped the game with this Iron Goddess – a tea worthy of rolling in the...” Read full tasting note
A specially baked tea made to order for Rishi Tea each spring and winter. Tae Guan Yin is known as Iron Goddess of Mercy and is the most famous oolong tea. Our special grade of this tea is hand-harvested from the soft stem Wu-Yi tea bush cultivar that is descended from the original tea bushes introduced to Taiwan from Fujian in the 19th Century. Made according to the traditional Tae Guan Yin oxidation and bamboo coal baking techniques developed in China’s Fujian province, our Iron Goddess of Mercy is a special treat for oolong tea lovers. Our Iron Goddess of Mercy has a light golden-amber infusion with a smooth body and sweet finish. Its aroma is profoundly reminiscent of baked grain and dried apricot.
The majority of our teas are organic and Fair Trade Certified. In 2009, we won 11 First Place Awards for Best Tea, almost double that of any competitor. Tea is our passion, it’s what we do best. We’re honored to share some of our favorite teas with you.
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The raw tea has a dry aroma, somewhat of grain and fruit.
Brewed, the tea is a golden color with an aroma that is roasty, perhaps of toasted nuts.
First Steeping: Moderate flavor, with floral notes and a toasty nuttiness. Almost no astringency.
Second Steeping – Same temp 5 minutes: Very similar to first steeping. No astringency.
Third Steeping – Same temp 8 minutes: A bit milder than the last steeping. Three is probably all that can be had out of this tea.
I really like this tea though I don’t get the floral notes others detect. To me, it smells like dried ripe fruit, tastes like roasted grains, and has an underlying sweetness that’s hard to describe. I make it in a gaiwan and use quite a bit of leaf. I use enough tea to the gaiwan will be almost full once they unfurl. I start with a 15 sec. infusion (after washing the tea) and add 15 more seconds to each subsequent infusion. This tea takes multiple infusions very well and fully develops by the 3rd infusion.
Another big plus for me is that I can get this at my local tea merchant for a reasonable price (actually cheaper than buying it directly from Rishi’s website), so, when the mood strikes, I don’t have to wait a few days to get it, I can just drive a few blocks and restock.
This was the first Oolong that I have ever tried, and probably my first stone for comparison. The name sold me, and my taste buds freaked out when I first tried it. Was it a green tea? Black tea? Was I smelling a plumeria, or an orchid? And that roasted smell, that taste. What-is-this? From there on, it became one of my favorite teas.
Pretentious story line aside, this is a good clean tea with staying power. It’s lighter with a paradoxical full body, smelling and tasting like a floral forest. I’ll definitely have to try this one again, and do another review to see if the experience is different. I’d say it’s probably for some one who likes Oolongs and green teas, maybe for a newbie.
Flavors: Creamy, Flowers, Green, Roasted, Sweet, Wood
The latest batch of this tea is quite different than what I’ve had before. This time it’s a much darker roast and the sweetness and floral notes are gone. I noticed Rishi harvests this tea in the spring (optimal) and winter. This is likely from the winter crop and could explain the flavor difference.
Flavors: Brown Toast, Chestnut, Roasted, Smoke
Has a very mellow and earthy flavor with coffee and cacao overtones. I don’t particularly care for the woodsy flavor, but I think it would be good for people who like darker coffees. I would like it more if it had a more complex flavor because it almost reminds me of a red wine, but it’s lacking the depth I typically associate with a good glass of red. I don’t detect any floral undertones (maybe I burnt it? I’ll update when I try steeping another glass.) It’s not a bad tea, just not to my liking.
EDIT: After trying this tea again, it’s grown on me. It definitely has a woodsy, earthy taste, so if that’s not your thing, this tea isn’t for you. When I drink it, I like to put in a small chunk of orange rind and a teaspoon of honey, and it’s quite delicious and cozy.
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Brown Toast, Burnt Sugar, Cacao, Coffee, Oak wood, Wood