Iron Buddha Oolong Tea from Oollo Tea

IronBuddha2Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Oollo Tea

Tea Description:

A present from the loving Bodhisattva of Compassion. Tightly rolled, the full leaves unfurl to emit pleasant stone fruit and wild honey notes with a hint of roasted nuts.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

As these last few days as a tea reviewer have been winding down, I’ve had the opportunity to try some really fabulous teas!  This Iron Buddha Oolong Tea from Oollo Tea certainly belongs with that fabulous group.  It’s absolutely lovely!

I brewed this in my new gaiwan which has gotten quite a workout this past week or so.  My much utilized gaiwan broke so I needed to replace it and since I didn’t want to wait around for a new easy gaiwan to arrive, I decided to – for the meantime – use one of the smaller gaiwans that I happened to have on my tea shelf but have never used.  I have to admit that the thin porcelain China does get very hot and it’s more difficult to pour so I’ll be glad when my new gaiwan arrives.

IronBuddha1It takes three infusions to fill my little teacup (my old gaiwan filled it with two infusions), so this first cup is the combination of the first three infusions after a 15 second rinse.

The above description pretty much nails this tea – it’s sweet with notes of honey, nutty and toasty with a very pleasant peach-like flavor.  It’s very smooth with a silky mouthfeel.  Such a delicious drink – it disappeared almost instantly.

My second cup was even sweeter because the peach notes began to emerge.  Still honeyed, nutty and toasty, these flavors merged with the peach notes to create a flavor medley that tasted a bit like a peach dessert.

With my third cup, I started to notice flavors waning so I decided to stop there – but I still got 9 amazing infusions out of this tea!  Delicious!

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!

Iron Buddha Oolong Tea from Canton Tea Co.

IronBuddhaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Canton Tea Co.

Tea Description:

This classic Tie Guan Yin produces a delicious, light-coloured, medium-bodied liquor. The first infusion combines toasty, floral notes with a touch of honey and becomes more fruity with successive infusions.

The dark, lightly oxidised green leaves are rolled into small tight fists. The liquor is amber-green with a smooth, heavy texture on the tongue. The flowery and fruity profile of this tea has a touch of honey and at first releases the pleasant orchid notes – after a couple of brews it yields the soft fruitier notes and has a sweet long lasting after taste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Tonight’s Oolong is this lovely Iron Buddha Oolong Tea from Canton Tea Co.!

My first cup (infusions 1 and 2) is very much like the above description suggests:  a medium-bodied tea with a soft, silky texture.  Warm, toasty notes with hints of nutty flavors and beautiful floral tones that hint at a honey-like sweetness.  The cup is sweet and flowery.  Delightful!

My second cup (infusions 3 and 4) is where I begin to notice some fruit notes emerging.  I taste notes of apricot.  The honey notes that I picked up on in the first cup are still here and I love the way the apricot and honey play together on the palate.  Sweet and delectable.  The nutty flavors I noticed in the first cup have waned somewhat, this cup is less ‘toasty’ and more about the notes of fruit and flower.  The body of this cup is a little creamier than the first cup.

My third cup (infusions 5 and 6) is a marriage of most of the flavors that I mentioned previously.  The flavors of honey and apricot have melded together to create a unified flavor.  The floral notes are a little sharper now because this cup isn’t quite as creamy as the second cup was, which seems to allow the floral notes to come into focus.  I taste very little of the toasty notes of the first cup now, this cup is much more floral than either of the two previous cups were.

I really enjoyed how the flavors transitioned as I sipped on each cup.  It was a lovely tea journey, one I was very happy to take!

Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea from Teavivre


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

When mentioned Anxi County, people will spontaneously think of Anxi Tie Guan Yin, “Iron Goddess”. It is well-known both inland and abroad. This Tie Guan Yin is close to forest green in color, has a pure aroma. Meanwhile the liquid of this Oolong tea is transparent and bright, which truly is a feast to the eyes. In taste, this Tie Guan Yin has sweet flavor, long-last fragrance and comfortable sweet aftertaste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Teavivre is one of those companies that continually impress me with the finest quality teas.  This Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea from Teavivre is a perfect example of what I mean.

This tea smells amazing.  The dry leaf has a floral and vegetative aroma, and once brewed, the liquid becomes less vegetal and more floral.  It’s really very fragrant, and it’s a joy to inhale the fragrance deeply before sipping.

I brewed this tea the same way I would normally approach an Oolong.  Using my gaiwan, I first did a quick “awakening” of the tea leaves, allowing them to steep in the hot water for 15 seconds, and then draining off the liquid.  Then I steeped the first infusion for 45 seconds, and with each infusion that followed, I added an additional 15 seconds.  I combine the first and second infusions to make my first cup, and the third and fourth infusions to make the second cup … and so on.

The first cup is light and crisp.  My experience with Tie Guan Yin is to expect a buttery quality, but usually the first cup is lighter in texture and flavor than the subsequent cups.  The flavor is sweet and floral, with delicate notes of honey.  It’s a nice way to start off with this lovely tea!

Usually, my second cup is my favorite, and that is true with this tea experience as well.  The flavor and texture is creamier, but it isn’t a heavy, buttery taste.  More like a light touch of butter – imagine steamed, mild tasting green veggies that have been lightly buttered.  That is much of what I taste right now … together with a lovely floral tone that is somewhere between honeysuckle and orchid, leaning more toward the orchid than the honeysuckle.  Notes of honey-esque sweetness please the taste buds.

The third cup becomes a more unified flavor, where there is less sharpness between the contrasting flavors.  The creaminess is more subdued, and the floral tones are lighter, but the cup is still very rewarding.  It’s definitely worth the effort to keep on steeping with this tea!

Overall, I found this tea to be a bit more mellow than some of the sharper Tie Guan Yin teas that I’ve tasted.  It’s a more refined taste, and I really enjoyed it.  As I type this, I see that this tea is currently out of stock … I hope that Teavivre restocks it soon, because it is definitely one you should put on the “gotta try it” list!

Soothing Lemon Wellness from Teas & Tapestries

Tea Type: Rooibos

Where To Buy: Teas & Tapestries

Product Description:

(Organic Caffeine Free Rooibos Tea) This tea blend has a sparkling-like lemon flavor which gives this blend a fresh and lively character – terrific served hot and sensational served iced! This tea is very soothing when served hot with a little honey, perfect for those winter sore throats! Rooibos is an ultra fine, delicate tea and once brewed it will produce a hearty red color with a warm scent. Rooibos holds a superior, natural sweetness that is unsurpassed with a smooth and aromatic after taste!

Modern medical institutes and, most notably Japan have taken quick notice of the medical benefits of consuming this beverage and have amassed findings on Rooibos including anti-viral, anti-spasmodic and anti-allergic properties. They have also found that Rooibos is over 50 times more active in anti-oxidant properties then green tea!

Rooibos is caffeine free, rich in naturally occurring trace elements, and contains healthy amounts of Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Fluoride, Manganese, Zinc, Calcium, and Vitamin C. It also contains fair amounts of alpha-hydroxy acid, which is known to promote healthy skin. This is truly an amazing plant that is just starting to make its way into western culture from its mountain peak home of South Africa.

This tea is not a commercial blend, but I personally hand mix it in small batches to ensure quality and uniformity of each and every custom tea tin.

Brew: Steep 1 teaspoon in 8 oz water that has been brought to a rolling boil for 5-7 minutes. This particular blend is excellent iced and I recommend brewing 5-6 teaspoons of loose tea to make a mild 1 gallon of sun tea that is phenomenal served over ice! This will make your tea tin produce almost 5 gallons of iced tea and it is an excellent way to welcome company into your home 🙂

Organic Ingredients: Red Rooibos, Lemon Peel, Lemon grass

Taste: Sparkling-like lemon flavor, fresh & lively. Excellent hot or cold!

Each tin contains 1/2 cup of loose tea and will make approximately 20 cups of brewed tea.

Tasters Review:

Soothing Lemon Wellness is very nice. I like lemon…usually LOTS and LOTS of lemon in types of tisanes like this…but the lemon is more mellow than I thought it would be and I do like it quite a bit still.

Maybe that is what they mean by SOOTHING.  Regardless this is a satisfying cup.

This seems like it would be the perfect ending to a stressful day.  I assume, but have yet to try, that it would be lovely iced, as well.