Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Iron Goddess of Mercy!

Who: Talisman Teas 
Looking on good ol' wikipedia, 'Talisman' means something that contains magical properties and provides good luck.  I have several samples from Talisman Teas to try and am very excited to write about them over the coming months, the flowering teas especially. 


What: AAA Grade Iron Buddha (Autumn 2012)
Hand-rolled, this is an Oolong tea that has been lightly oxidised to a specific level making the leaves a dark emerald green.  I felt particularly inspired to write about this tea when I read that 'Iron Buddha' is also sometimes named the 'Iron Goddess of Mercy'!  I mean come on, this is enough to set my mind into comic book and legends overdrive! Hmm.. an Iron Goddess with the compassion of Mother Teresa...  I shall insist my friends call me this from now on.

Where: Anxi Fujian Province, China 
Back to being sensible, Iron Buddha is apparently one of China's most famous teas.  AAA is a high grade rating also known as the 'Imperial' version and it's picked in a two-day window in the Autumn (must be a busy time!).  

How: 
1 tbsp per 200ml 90c brew for 2 minutes.


Notes:
You'll notice these tea leaves come in loose ball shapes, so it took me back when I saw how they unfurled into quite large springy leaves!  I'll never get over the look of tea leaves having been brought up on black tea bags and these especially were like having a little cabbage or crispy seaweed in my infuser!



After brewing these Iron Buddha (cough - Goddess) leaves into an amber green infusion, I could describe the aroma as having a sweet floral scent with orchid notes.  On first taste, it seemed buzzing and alive with a slight seaweed taste.  It was so bright that I prepared to be hit with a tangy edge, but it suddenly steered the other way and with its smooth texture I found it soft and rounded on the tongue with a bittersweet, yet creamy aftertaste.  I could just about get two infusions out of my leaves and the second seemed more floral and less sweet than the first.

Overall, i'm pleased to say i've tried this famous China Oolong tea and think the smooth creamy taste will suit those who find it hard to let go of milk!  I've tested this with the men as well and received good feedback!