Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tieguanyin)


Tea of the Day: Iron Goddess of Mercy (Tieguanyin) by The London Tea Room

Description: Named after Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, this well rounded tea is the standard bearer for our oolong collection. Roasted over bamboo coals and rolled into a distinctive ball, the Iron Goddess is a must try for any fan of oolongs, and it’s also a terrific starting point for those who thinks that oolong sounds like an apt description for that artsy French film they slept through the other night.

Dry tea smells glassy and kind of sweet with floral hints

Liquor is a clear golden color in the cup

Steeped tea has a slightly more earthy scent than the dry. It has and earthy almost sweet taste with a slight bitterness to it that makes a refreshing finish. Adding a little sugar mingles the flavors even better.

Tea Rating: 5/5

Here’s a funny thing about grief:  it’s sneaky. You’d think that as you came to terms with a loved one being gone that your heart wouldn’t ache so badly, and you’d be right…and wrong. Maybe day to day it doesn’t hurt like it did at first, but then you’ll reach a milestone, or hear a song that they’d like or read a story that reminds you of them and you’re right back there, helpless and hurting. It seems to ebb and flow like the tide, or cycle through like the phases of the moon.

I’ve come to accept it, as much as one can, but I still have conflicting feelings in regards to my grief. And so, a letter to Gran.

Dear Gran,

I can’t believe it’s been two years since you left your body behind…it seems so surreal at times. Time stretches and shrinks so that sometimes I swear I just talked to you last month, and other times it seems like it’s been an age since I got to see you.

Either way, I miss you.

I miss you when I talk about finally graduating and my plans for the next steps. I miss you when I add another piece to my wedding plans. I miss you when I sit down to go through photos I have taken to prepare for my website or a client.

It’s not constant like it was when you first passed, but it’s still there,  like a hole in my yard that I’ve mostly learned to walk around but still trip over.

When Julie came up here for my graduation, it was the first time we’d seen each other since you had passed, and we ended up talking about you. I have a folder full of things you either wrote or found to be important, and I brought it out to show her. And we talked, and we cried. There was crying again a couple days later when Arianna graduated, because we remembered that you had wanted to live to see all four of us graduate high school but in the end only saw mine.

This is where the conflicting feelings come in.

I feel pretty strongly that though your body is gone, your spirit still remains. This brings me comfort, and guilt. Comfort for obvious reasons, guilt because after the life you lived you should be able to rest. I feel like it’s incredibly selfish of me to hope you’re still listening. And then, of course, if you are still around, it’s probably not just for me, since all of your children and grandchildren are still alive and (mostly) well.

I guess in truth I don’t know what to feel, and it’s hard. My biggest fear at this point is honestly that I’ll finally figure out how to deal with you being gone just in time to say goodbye to someone else and have to start all over again.

I think you’d probably ask me if I can change what is bothering me, and if I can’t, let it go.

That’s not a simple question either, though. I can’t change the fact that you died. I think I should be able to do something about how I feel about it, but it eludes me.

At this point all I can really do is ride the tides , sometimes up, sometimes down.

I wish I handled the down better. I wish I could ask your advice on how to manage it.

As it is, I keep on as best I can, and I guess that’s all I can do.

I love you,



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