Tie Guan Yin Competition Grade "Monkey Picked" Oolong

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Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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55 Tasting Notes View all

  • “My sample from Chicago Tea Garden just arrived - now I get to try the tea that so many have raved about here. The smell of the dry leaves is really vegetal and fresh, which is a good start. 1st...” Read full tasting note
    AdhamL 237 tasting notes
  • “Ok, yeah, I am friends with the owners of Chicago Tea Garden. I am also a Tie Guan Yin FIEND. And this is the best I've tasted. One of the best teas I've ever tasted. Oh my stars! Tastes like a...” Read full tasting note
    lainiep 596 tasting notes
  • “Thanks to *Autumn Hearth* for this! I was in such an oolong mood today. I don't know why. But I remembered I had this in my drawer! It's just what I want in an oolong: buttery, floral, a...” Read full tasting note
    michellefeda 318 tasting notes
  • “Thanks to *Ellen* for sending me some of this tea in our recent swap! It's sad that Chicago Tea Garden is no more because they had a lot of nice teas. Upon steeping, this tea smelled amazingly...” Read full tasting note
    dinosara 2042 tasting notes

From Chicago Tea Garden

This tea was sourced by David Lee Hoffman from one of the organizers of the Chinese National Tea Competition. This tea is named after the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guan Yin in Mandarin), also known as the “Iron Goddess of Mercy.” Tie Guan Yin was first used only as a tribute tea to the Royal Court. The tea leaves from Anxi County in China are known for their overwhelming floral fragrance. They are lightly oxidized and rolled into very tight balls using a technique known as “baorou.” They slowly open up while steeping, releasing their flavor and floral aroma, eventually revealing whole leaves. Through his relationship with the organizers of China’s National Tea Competition, David Lee Hoffman has gained unprecedented access to some of the most special Tie Guan Yin Oolongs being made today — this is one of them.

This tea has several spellings, most popularly Tie Guan Yin and Ti Kuan yin.

About Chicago Tea Garden View company

Chicago Tea Garden is an online tea shop committed to providing extraordinary teas and tea education to tea lovers and those new to the leaf. Chicago Tea Garden's co-owner Tony Gebely also runs the World of Tea Blog [http://www.worldoftea.org] and Tweets at @WorldofTea.

55 Tasting Notes

54 tasting notes

12 oz water
4 g tea
30 second steep is what was rec’d on the card, so that’s what i did.

The dry leaves didn’t seem to have much aroma at all. The steep is light yellow in color. It has a slightly sweet aroma. It tastes a bit vegetal. But not really fresh. I don’t think i’m getting the complexities described in all the other reviews, or i’m just not that sensitive to the subtle flavors. This didn’t do it for me.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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81 tasting notes

Wow…just wow. This is probably the best oolong I have ever had, and that says a lot because I’ve had A LOT of oolong. Short steeps in a gaiwan are best. I think I may need to treat myself to this one.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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102 tasting notes

This is the most floral oolong I’ve ever drunk. With each sip, I get a very distinct jasmine flavor for the first 10 seconds or so. The jasmine flavor then dissipates and leaves behind a non-specific floral oolong taste. It’s a very green oolong and does not have that roasted/chestnut type of note so many oolongs seem to have. However, I don’t find it particularly vegetal.

It’s unique, and it’s a good tea, smooth and flavorful, but unfortunately I am not terribly fond of jasmine flavors in tea. So I probably will not purchase it. I’ve had other Tie Guan Yins which did not have this jasmine note, so I’ll stick with those.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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110 tasting notes

I have had a few “wow” moments with this tea, which is always a welcome surprise. “Wow” anything is nice, of course, but tea doesn’t often engender that response from me. More like “mmmm” most of the time if it’s good.

The first wow was inhaling the fragrance of the initial steep: it was like stepping outside on an early spring day… thinking about it (“what is that familiar fragrance?”) I realized it’s lilac. Your first whiff of lilac in the spring. Actually fooled me for a second into feeling like I’m not locked into winter here on the east coast. Then as I drank it it was just like honeysuckle, one of my all-time favorite scent experiences. This continued in subsequent steeps. I’m not too fond of any floral tastes or scents in tea, but this tea’s front floral personality coupled with its butteriness just kept making me smile with enjoyment.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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31 tasting notes

Third steeping — back to tasting green. not really my type of tea. But if you like green teas and oolongs, and you want a tea that will take many steepings, go for this one. It’s just not quite right for me.

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9 tasting notes

There are a hanful of ‘iron Goddess’ Oolong’s out there, all of which are good teas. It’s almost hard to go wrong. This one is somewhere in the middle of the ones I’ve tried.

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29 tasting notes

Hmmm… it’s taken me a little while to get a good enough feel for this tea before writing a review. The good thing was that I’ve been able to get quite a few cups out of the sample!

First off, the recommended 30 second first steep didn’t produce a strong enough taste for me. I preferred 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Regardless of how long, the first steep is big on a wonderful floral scent but kinda weak on flavor. The second and third steeps had a much more pronounced flavor. It’s somewhat vegetal but not quite like green tea. It’s very soothing and floral. The later steeps have a nice sweetness to them too. The only thing I don’t care for much is that it has a dry finish. Other than that, very wonderful tea!

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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89 tasting notes

I just can’t rate this as highly as I was hoping, based upon other reviews. The favor is there, its a great tea, but It just doesn’t seem as good as some others.

190 °F / 87 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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27 tasting notes

I ordered the free sample of this tea, and it came in surprisingly quickly. The sample was just the right amount to fill a 4oz gaiwan.

It smelled very floral, like a garden of flowers. I poured it into my gaiwan (which filled it about 1/3 full) and then poured about 190F water over it for a rinse, and dumped it out. Then I filled up the gaiwan and let it steep for 30 seconds before pouring it into a cup. The color was a greenish yellow. The smell was very much like the dry leaf, floral and almost fruity. The taste reminded me of gunpowder green tea, only less harsh, and a lot smoother. After I finished the first cup, I re-infused, and found the leaves to have expanded a lot. They were all the way up to the lid of the gaiwan! The next 3 or 4 infusions were done at approximately 30 seconds. They all came out almost identical, and tasted good.

I typically drink ONLY green tea, so an oolong was a nice change. This Tie Guan Yin is pretty green, literally in between green tea and black tea, in both taste and fermentation. It’s a really nice tea if you aren’t a fan of black tea, but like something a little more…“brisk” than light green teas.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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10 tasting notes

I got a sample of this with my order from CTG. To be clear, this was absolutely fantastic! This oolong blew me away (and I am an oolong head) – one of the best I have had in a long, long time. This tea demands short (30 sec) steeps. multiple times, in a Xing teapot, and quiet time set aside for contemplation. WOW!

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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