Tea Writings

A blog about tea from the desk of Cecilia Tan

Heaven Scent

September 09, 2012 By: ctan Category: Tea Reviews

Delicious, delicious tea.

I sit here this evening, after the thunderstorms have passed, as the sudden coolness of the night reminds us that summer proper is over and that fall is knocking on New England’s door. A pot of warm (but not too hot) tea is perfect.

With cold weather coming, I’m doing my annual restock of my tea inventory. I just placed orders with Imperial Tea Court and the Aroma Tea Shop in San Francisco, with a few others to do in the coming weeks.

Aroma sent me some samples and I’m sipping one of those right now: Heavenly Fragrance Iron Goddess. Haymen, my favorite tea pusher, wrote on the package “Call to order. Not online.”

I’m in the middle of the first steep, first pot as I write this. This tea has a very clear, sweet note unlike others I’ve tasted. Sweet but not in a sugary or fruity way, if you can imagine that. Like many Iron Goddess teas, it’s very green in both color and flavor, but its virtue is in the sweetness of the liquor. Liquor is a good word for this tea: it’s heady and divine. It almost reminds me of Belle de Brillet, the pear brandy, as its sweetness is reminiscent of the ripe pear, with no tartness or bitterness at all.

Heavenly Fragrance Iron Goddess is also exceedingly smooth without being “creamy”–a word I’ll reserve for the milk oolongs and buttery-finish Formosa and Fujian teas.

Second steeping: it ripens nicely. The sweetness has a bit more of a tang now, more like lychee (and yet still not sugary or even what I would call fruity, it’s more subtle than that). It’s not quite as smooth on the second steep, but the flavor has more complexity, with notes of grape-skin and shiso leaf.

I’m expecting to get a few more steeps out of it before the night is done!

If you want some, call Haymen at 415-668-3788. (Aroma Tea website: http://www.aromateashop.com)

By the way, Haymen DaLuz, my tea pusher, has written a “tea gangsta” song, Tea Master. Yes, he raps, too.

And now, picspam of the Heavenly Fragrance Iron Goddess:

Special sample hand labeled by Haymen.

Verrrrry special!

Upon opening the package, the leaves are cheery green and it does have a usual Ti Kuan Yin scent.

I put the leaves in the strainer to brew a pot. The photo makes the green look less bright than it actually is.

After the leaves have had their first rinse in hot water and brief pre-steep.

The leaves after their first full steep. Delicious and sweet.

The second steeping, growing in complexity and ripeness.

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