Iron Goddess of Mercy

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Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by AJ
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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From Granville Island Tea Co

The popular name of this tea (also known as Ti Kuan Yin) originated in the ancient folk tale of a peasant farmer, who dedicated its name to an iron statue outside of the temple where he first drank the tea.

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11 Tasting Notes

1908 tasting notes

Second steep of this tea and the honey notes seem to have disappeared and the baked flavour is slightly more pronouced.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Rena Sherwood

Man, you’re braver than I am. Any tea named “Iron Goddess of Mercy” sounds too scary to drink. I appreciate you taking the time to do the reviews, though.


:D It’s just the western name for Tie Kuan Yin. :) She’s an important goddess in Chinese mythology. I really like the legend behind the tea. For some reason I can’t quite pinpoint, they really speak to my imagination. Check them out at wikipedia here
I like the Wei legend best.


I like the Wei version too. It’s a simple story about the rewards of devotion, but it’s themes are something everyone can understand and relate to, no matter what their religion or country. :)

Rena Sherwood

Kuan Yin is a much better name for a tea than “Iron Goddess of Mercy”, because “iron” is inflexible, hard and doesn’t quite fit in with the concept of “mercy”. Also, people shopping for tea would read the name and may conclude that the tea tstes like iron.


Actually I thought the name sounded kinda cool and intriguing, like I KNEW there was a story behind it – but then that’s just me. Plus you can’t really argue with a tradition as old as this one. ;)


For me, one of the big selling points on chinese teas are the names. Of course I have a hard time remembering which is what with most of them, but I like making mangled attempts at trying to pronounce them, and they all have such poetic meanings. Like this one, for example, or chun mee which means ‘precious eyebrow’. I’ve forgotten what bi lou chun means…


Isn’t that something about a snail? Or is that another one?


*Looks it up on Wikipedia" Apparently it means ‘Green Snail Spring’


D’oh! Refresh fail!


Bwhahaha, to slow! :P

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1353 tasting notes

My order from is waiting for me at the post office, yay!!!

… I wonder what I bought…? I can’t for the life of me remember what’s in it. I do sure hope there’s Tie Guan Yin, because this is the last of the good stuff that Jillian sent me. Unfortunately what with the closing times my local post office has, I can’t pick it up until wednesday. (Yes, I could probably find an order confirmation in my inbox and check what I bought, but let me have my little game, please.)

So now I’m still waiting for… uh… Well, I ordered from Nothing But Tea yesterday, so I know I’m waiting for that. And I seem to recall placing an order with 52teas a while ago. I think. I was definitely at the site, so the question remains, did I buy something or did I change my mind? (And again, if I did, I wonder what I bought?)

Just in case I didn’t buy any Tie Guan Yin (oh my gosh how will I cope if I didn’t???) I am savouring the last of this cup. There’s a reason it’s named after a goddess, I’m just saying!



When the traveling tea box comes back there will be lots of Ti Kuan Yin inside! Well it might be all gone, but at least I tried =P


It’s almost all used up over here too – some of what I didn’t give you is going to Takgoti in a tea trade (I think she saw you raving about it, LOL). I can always save what I have left to send to you – I can buy more for myself easily enough (I’ll be in Vancouver in mid-Feb). :D


I’m picking my order up tomorrow, then we’ll see if I bought some. (I think I did) Shame I didn’t save some, so I could have done a side by side comparison… But that’s too late now.

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260 tasting notes

I got this tea from Jillian and decided to steep it in my Sorapot.

[It was very pretty – I’ll need to take pictures next time.]

First off, one of the things that I absolutely love is the short steep time, because it means that I don’t have to wait that long in between cups. I got a pretty good rhythm going, lengthening the steep time by maybe 15 seconds or so on each subsequent cup, stopping at four. I could have gone longer, I suspect, because the flavor wasn’t weakening for me – a very good sign.

This tea was buttery, with some sweetness that sashayed around and swished through the aftertaste. At times, it had a very pronounced vegetal quality to it, which is something that I’m somewhat indifferent on. For me, it didn’t stick around consistently, and I consider that to be a saving quality. It had a darkness that colored the flavor of the tea, which keeps me from wanting to compare this to a Formosan Oolong since it had some similar qualities.

Overall, I found it wholly enjoyable, so thanks for sending this to me, Jillian! I look forward to many steeps in my future.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 45 sec

How are you handling the sora pot with the leaves and the water amounts and the steep time, and such?


Yay, I’m glad you like! _


Sorapot! Sooooo jealous!!! LOL :P Neat review – as always!


TeaEqualsBliss, it’s time for you to purchase a sorapot from the steepster select =P


@sophistre I handle it pretty much like I handle everything else. I just measure out the leaves and drop them into the glass tube, then close it up and pour the water in through the spout when it’s ready. I have a little glass pitcher that I bought from Samovar that have my thermometer in. I’ve figured out that the top of the handle in the pitcher is about 10 oz., so I pour it in there and wait for it to reach the correct temperature if I need to and then pour it into the Sorapot. Steep times don’t change.

@Jillian It was really good! I’m excited to finish it off!

@TeaEqualsBliss Haha, thank you! I do love it, so.


Ahso. You pour everything out of the sorapot all at once. It just looks like such a large quantity of water and thus a whole heck of a lot of tea compared to the quantities I’m usually making for myself at one time…but leaving the tea in the pot post-steep wasn’t an option! Suspect my glass infuser cups are not going to find themselves out of a job anytime soon…but gosh the pot sure is pretty.


Haha, well, the full capacity is only about 11 oz. and a cup for me is typically 8-11 oz., so it works very well for me! I just pre-measure my water before I pour it into the pot and everything’s copacetic. I don’t think doing less water would be a problem if necessary [because yes, I wouldn’t want my tea sitting and steeping for that between cups either].

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