The Iron Goddess of Mercy – Cool Name Huh?


It’s Sunday so it’s time to try something special!  Tea is best when you’ve got time to sit and enjoy it, and following another bumper delivery of teas from around the world, my choices for my something special were pretty wide.

I opted for Ti Kuan Yin, also known as ‘Iron Goddess of Mercy’, because with a name like that how could it be anything other than amazing?  Following a previous post where I declared my love for Jade Oolong, Ti Kuan Yin was recommended by The Northern Teaist, Kara La La La, AND The Virtual Wren so with that many positive reviews in my comments section, I knew I had to give it a try.

My order was placed with Adagio Teas, a loose leaf tea company that I’ve used a number of times to get my fix.  They offer two types of Ti Kuan Yin, one in their Master’s collection in a nice little tin, and another that comes in a smaller sample size which is the one I bought.  They both have great reviews so I couldn’t wait to give it a try.


The story behind the name is a good one.  I have no idea if there is any truth in it, but I’m going to tell it anyway.

In Anxi County in Fujian, China, a poor farmer by the name of Wei would walk past a statue of Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion every day on the way to his tea fields.  Saddened by the state of disrepair that the statue had fallen into, and unable to repair the statue due to his lack of money, Wei would sweep the statue clean and light incense offerings to Guanyin month after month.

One night, Guanyin appeared to Wei in a dream, telling him that his fortune lay in a cave hidden behind the statue.  In the cave he find a single tea shoot and nurtured it into a full bush, which produced the finest tea. Wei began selling his tea and named it after the Goddess of Mercy and the rest, as they say, is history!

So with my mind full of legend and recommendations from fellow bloggers, it was time to give the Iron Goddess of Mercy a try.  To make the whole tasting even more special, I got to try out my amazing glass tea cup and saucer from Gabby for the first time, along with my new little teapot too!

The rolled leaves were a fresh green which hinted that I was in for another beautiful and light oolong like the ones I had already enjoyed so much before.  The leaves slowly unfurled in the pot as I let them steep for around three minutes in water that had cooled a little after boiling.


The tea was a very light and pale yellow in colour, and had a delicate and sweet vegetal aroma to match.  On first taste, the tea was as soft and lightly flavoured as the scent and sight suggested.  Adagio suggested notes of toasted walnut and collard greens, and while I struggled to pick out these exact flavours (I’m not even sure I’ve actually ever tried collard greens to be honest) there was a complex sweetness combined with little or no astringency that was easy to drink, intriguing, and very moreish!

Overall, it definitely lived up to the hype and I’m glad that so many people suggested that I gave it a try.  It’s a tea that I’ll enjoy drinking again and again, especially on a day like today when I can really take my time and appreciate it!

Have you tried this well-known oolong?  What did you think?  Please leave your comments below, I’d love to hear from you.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Part of the fun of a TGY for me, apart from the taste of course, is watching the leaves expand and unfurl over several steepings, until they fill the gaiwan. Magic…


    1. Rory says:

      It certainly is impressive the size that they expand to, it looks like they’ve been taken straight from the bush and put into my teapot after a bit of steeping!
      Thanks for the recommendation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome… 🙂


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