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Tie Guan Yin

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by AJ
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190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Okay, Steepsterites. Yesterday I had the Clear Jade Orchid and I just keep steeping the same leaves throughout the day. Three cups all in all, the last one I had sort of mid-afternoon-ish and...” Read full tasting note
    Angrboda 1192 tasting notes
  • “My first sip is a warm, green butter. The aftertaste is most definitely bakey. It's odd, but I feel the tension headache that I woke up with lifting already. As I sip more, I get a touch of...” Read full tasting note
    supermoon10 354 tasting notes
  • “There are teas so impressive you want to show them off to your friends. But in every tea pantry there's a baggie of tea that you wouldn't recommend to other people, but to keep for yourself for...” Read full tasting note
    pimli 46 tasting notes

From Unknown

A gift from my aunt.

Gingko (Manager of Life in Teacup): The first two characters mean “good taste”. It can be descriptive. But sometimes this word is also used for greener Tie Guan Yin that’s processed with a specific method which results in the tea greener but not too grassy.

“Full Picture”:http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4151/5204353025_2ae65dc6df.jpg

About Unknown View company

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3 Tasting Notes

1192 tasting notes

Okay, Steepsterites.

Yesterday I had the Clear Jade Orchid and I just keep steeping the same leaves throughout the day. Three cups all in all, the last one I had sort of mid-afternoon-ish and at that point I had to pee constantly. Large cups, these.

Today we’re having another oolong and this time it’s a real genuine chinese Tie Guan Yin. Yes I am aware that all Chinese tea is genuine Chinese tea, but as this came to the household via a chinese colleague of my boyfriend’s who brought it with her when she got to Denmark and then gave him, for some reason, a whole bag of the stuff. We don’t know why but my theory is that he must at some point (he has worked with her before, and then she was home in China for a few months and is now back to work there again.) have told her about me and my interest and that would be the reason why.

My gain, anyway.

This is packed in portion sized samples and it’s in those wrappers where all air has been sucked out of it before sealing. It only says ‘Tie Guan Yin China Tea’ on the wrapper, which is golden, and then it’s got some Chinese characters on it as well. Nothing wtih western letters giving a clue as to brand or similar. I have attempted to take a picture of the wrapper so that you can see, but as the kittens were ‘helping’ me operate the camera… I have included picture links at the bottom. If anybody can read the Chinese writing for me, I would appreciate it. One portion packet seems to go quite well in size with my small teapot, so that’s what we’re going with here. That tiny wrapper held a whole little handful of leaves. Amazing how little space things take up just by having the air sucked out of it.

I actually remembered to smell the leaves before putting them in the pot. They had a rich, thick smell. Sort of dark green and woodsy, which made me think of a forest environment. Deciduous, mostly. I know it’s really fields and plantations, but I rather like the idea that it might be tea growing among a bunch of other plants and trees, and maybe, just maybe, there’s a tiger or a firefox just around the corner…

After steeping it smells more toasty and woodsy, and the colour has changed. It’s more orange now than green. Strangely enough it’s the same orange as the colour of the tea in the cup so that leads me to think that perhaps this particular smell does not actually trigger synesthesia so much as my brain belives it does because it makes the association with what I can see in the cup. It does smell like that colour though, so who knows, really?

There is a strong floral note to the aroma as well. If I close my eyes I picture little white flowers, although I have no idea what sort of flowers they are. I don’t know plants. I think my brain is just inventing some random flowers really.

It has a very full flavour. Just a few sips and my whole mouth is filled with a strong aftertaste. Again it’s got a quite toasted note which I rather like. In spite of the leaves looking very green oolong it gives the flavour a more darkish oolong boost. I’m not really a fan of those very very green oolongs. To me, with those one might as well have gone for a green tea proper instead. I like it when an oolong actually tastes like oolong.

That means woodsy, slightly earthy and toasted flavours. It’s kind of grainy and nutty too. A bit like the ricey aspect of a genmaicha, really. If you picked a genmaicha apart and focused ONLY on the flavour that the popped rice in it imparts, that’s what I’m reminded of.

I’m very pleased with this and would rate it around 85 points. As I don’t know the brand, I’m not going to put an official rating on it though. Others might have other unknown TGY’s and it would just be a mess, I think.

Picture of the wrapper: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/sOYrqqoOej7KewgJg0Ppxjt0rtk7VScRcTAqR2hWR8Q?feat=directlink


I’m totally the same when I drink oolong. I’m making a trip to the bathroom every half hour or less. I started making each infusion only quarter cup of liquid so that I can taste the tea without overloading my bladder.


If you’re looking for something with a bit more gardenia/floral notes, I’d reccomend a Dong Ding. I love taiwanese oolongs, but don’t really care for TGY as much as others because I like mine a bit “greener.” You can get 7-10+ solid steeps out of a high mountain oolong — I love these things! Pretty potent diuretics, they are :)


Cole, I’m not really a fan of floral. Scented teas tend to often be a bit to perfume-y for me to really appreciate them, and I do best with floral when it’s naturally occurring and when there are plenty of other aspects to the flavour to even it out a bit. So something that was more floral than this, I would probably avoid. Or at least save for last. Thanks for the thought, though. :)

Mercuryhime, I took that advice with the barley oolong yesterday and drank that all day in half pots. (It’s one of those tea-for-one sized pots) It also gave me the advantage of actually being able to have more than one, perhaps two steeps, before I got tired of it and wanted something else. Six whole cups I got out of that one, although the sixth was rather weakly. Could probably have been more if I had raised the steep time higher than I did at that point.


Nice! I also use a tea-for-one pot for oolongs. I had it for years and years and never used it until one day a light bulb went off and I thought “This is perfect for gung fu style!”
I’m happy you got more out of your tea this time. Tasting all the differences in the different steeps is part of the fun of an oolong. :)


To be honest, apart from it getting weaker towards the end, I don’t pick up very many differences generally. But I feel like I’m getting more out of the leaves without the constant toilet trips.

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354 tasting notes

My first sip is a warm, green butter. The aftertaste is most definitely bakey. It’s odd, but I feel the tension headache that I woke up with lifting already. As I sip more, I get a touch of sweetness in the back of my throat, and a mineral taste on the tip of my tongue. Could be the water, but it’s not unpleasant.

Less of a “fresh green” taste as my other experience with tie guan yin, a little more on the buttery side. This isn’t a bad thing—I rather like it this way. It’s getting sweeter as it cools as well, almost mouth-coating.

I’ve had this before, I just haven’t gotten around to sitting down and typing something up. More will be added onto this post with subsequent steeps.

Second steep is darker, given the leaves were given time to fully reopen. This one’s also at two minutes. The colour is a very nice, spring green. It’s deeper (sharper?), more minerally and less sweet and buttery.

Third steep, four minutes: More sharply (not in a negative sense) mineral and green tasting; no apparent sweetness. Not as heavy and mouth-coating as the first steep. Hints of butter, but just barely. Sort of a steamed vegetable taste, I think. But a bit fresher. I think I am still getting a bit of sweet on the tip of my tongue. As I reach the bottom of my cup, the mineral tang has gotten quite pronounced.

More steeps when I return home from work, I think.

Fourth steep, little change.

Fifth steep (six minutes), it’s been a few days so I would be working from memory. The taste hasn’t grown weaker yet. Mineral, vegetal, and bakey. More bakey now, I think—or at least more than I remember. I can taste it on my breath as I breathe out.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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46 tasting notes

There are teas so impressive you want to show them off to your friends. But in every tea pantry there’s a baggie of tea that you wouldn’t recommend to other people, but to keep for yourself for those times that all you want is a no-fuss brew and a hot cup at 11 o’ clock, to get yourself ready for lunch. This kind of tea is the latter.

This Tie Guan Yin was a gift from a friend who had worked in Shanghai. It came in a nice flattened cylinder / oval tin, with an image of a goddess/deity (3 guesses who that might be) over a blue green background.

Brewed Western style, thin layer of pellets just enough to cover the bottom of the gaiwan in a single thing layer. Quick rinse, 5s. (In hindsight maybe I shouldn’t have? But rinsing tea is becoming a habit for me now, what with paranoia over pesticides.) Let it sit in the warm gaiwan for half a minute. Then steeped a couple of minutes.

No remarkable smell (there was the Chinese green smell, but I was too lazy to liken it to something poetic. I thought I caught a faint whiff of brownies, or cocoa, but nothing as strong as what I’d get from my Taiwan oolongs). Tea liquid was a pale chartreuse. After the leaves unfurled, there were many whole leaves, but also a few broken pieces. I hate seeing tea bits (torn off leaf portions as large as baby nails). They make me think that it’s not a very good tea.

Taste is as bland as I expected.

195 °F / 90 °C

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