Iron Goddess of Mercy tea, also known as Ti Kuan Yin and Tie Guan Yin is one of the most famous oolong teas. Like any oolong tea, it is credited with many health benefits.
In this post, I will describe:
- what is oolong tea
- what is the Iron Goddess of Mercy tea
- the chemical components of the Iron Goddess of Mercy tea
- the impact of the Iron Goddess of Mercy tea on weight loss
What is oolong tea
Oolong tea has been known for more than three centuries and originates from the Fujian region in China. It is neither green nor black but somewhere in between. Whereas black tea is fully oxidized and green tea - not oxidized, oolong tea is partially oxidized and therefore has a different composition and different health benefits than black and green teas.
The name oolong can be translated as black dragon tea and it is sometimes transcribed as wulong.
As oolong is the name given to any tea between black and green, as you can imagine, the oolong teas vary a lot between themselves. It is a whole new realm of teas and one cannot but help feeling overwhelmed upon discovering it.
To find your way in the world of oolong teas, it's important to distinguish between the Taiwanese oolongs and the Fujian oolongs. The Taiwanese oolongs are only slightly oxidized and closer to green teas. They are often praised for their unique, milky taste. The Fujian oolongs are more oxidized and closer to black teas. They are more complex and carry caramel or floral notes.
Read on for more information on oolong tea.
What is the Iron Goddess of Mercy tea
The Iron Goddess of Mercy is one of the Fujian oolongs which means it comes from the Fujian region of China. The best Iron Goddess of Mercy tea comes from the mountainous area of Anxi.
The Iron Goddess of Mercy tea dates from the Qing dynasty. Before the rise in popularity of the cheap black tea in the 19th century, the Anxi oolongs were extremely popular worldwide.
This tea is surrounded by many charming legends about a Mr. Wei who took such a good care of the temple of the Iron Goddess of Mercy that the goddess herself offered him a tea shoot. After two years, the tea shoot became a tea bush producing exquisite tea and after a further few years - a tea garden which made Mr. Wei rich and successful.
The leaves of Iron Goddess of Mercy are rolled into small pearls. Once infused, they unfurl into large entire leaves. The top quality leaves will have red rims or light streaks called "white frost."
Like any oolong, this tea can be infused multiple times. The infusion has a golden colour and releases milky, floral and caramel notes. Try infusing as many times as you can - you will be surprised how each subsequent infusion differs from the previous ones.
The chemical components of the Iron Goddess of Mercy tea
The wonderful book Tea: History, Terroirs, Variaties, a must-read for any tea lover, contains an entire section about the chemical components of the most famous teas.
Based on the research present in the book, oolong teas in general and Iron Goddess of Mercy in particular stand out from the crowd when it comes to their properties.
- polyphenols - polyphenols contained in tea are credited with many health benefits such as their effect on the free radicals. As polyphenols seem to combat the free radicals, many researchers show that they could prevent aging and certain types of cancer. In terms of the polyphenols concentration, it seems that certain Japanese green teas contain the most polyphenols (Matcha, Sencha) as well as some of the most famous Chinese teas (Long Jing, Tai Ping Hou Kui). However, the Iron Goddess of Mercy has more polyphenols than most black teas, herbal teas and other oolong teas.
- caffeine - all the teas contain caffeine in varying degrees. It is worth mentioning that the tannins present in tea prevent caffeine from being released too quickly which diminishes its negative impact on the human body. Iron Goddess of Mercy contains less caffeine than most green teas, black teas and oolong teas and can be drunk in the evening without negatively affecting the quality of our sleep
- other elements - in addition to that, all the teas contain fluor and many researches are trying to find out if tea could become a natural product for oral health. Tea also contains many vitamins (A, B, E, K) and about 30 minerals.
The impact of the Iron Goddess of Mercy tea on weight loss
Oolong teas have been considered for centuries as helping with weight control. A lot of research has been recently conducted on this topic, on both humans (men and women) and animals and all of them concluded that regular consumption of oolong teas does indeed contribute to weight loss.
Iron Goddess of Mercy being one of the most famous oolong teas, it also shares this benefit.
Moreover, tea is a calorie-free beverage and can be consumed by people on any diet as long as no sugar or milk is being added. When prepared correctly, the Iron Goddess of Mercy is naturally sweet and milky so adding anything to it really isn't necessary.
The most important benefit of the Iron Goddess of Mercy tea...
The best part of drinking the Iron Goddess of Mercy is definitely its taste, not its many health benefits. Still, looking at the long long list of the health benefits it brings, makes us feel even better after having a cuppa.