Hand Picked Tieguanyin Spring Oolong (2011)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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58 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I am back to work. I have been training and going through orientation at Revel {I am not authorized to say this} LOL. They are allowing us to have a beverage with us in a cup with a lid to take...” Read full tasting note
    100
    chasmargate 293 tasting notes
  • “Going gong fu with this one this afternoon. Approximately following Verdant's steeping directions, my little teapot is about 6oz, and I used a tablespoon of leaves which is about 5g. First steep...” Read full tasting note
    97
    dinosara 1909 tasting notes
  • “This is an amazing Oolong. It starts out with a distinct vanilla note that melds harmoniously with the natural creamy notes of the Oolong, it almost tastes like a cream filled pastry! As I...” Read full tasting note
    93
    LiberTEAS 4303 tasting notes
  • “Tried this again tonight, and it was just as delicious as always. ah, I loved this tea.. I tried some Jingshan green just before having the TGY, and it seems like it really primed my palette in...” Read full tasting note
    Spoonvonstup 59 tasting notes

From Verdant Tea

Through the first few steepings this tea tastes almost candy like. There are strong notes of orchid and honeysuckle that linger in the back of the throat like licorice root. In steeping three the extremely creamy and buttery quality of this tea comes through to support the floral nature. It tastes almost like fresh Spanish saffron and clover honey. Late in steeping, the floral and creamy notes continue and the complexity builds with the introduction of sweet grass notes. The flavor yields excellent infusions for about thirty steepings in a gaiwan, or 10 in a traditional tea pot.

UPDATE: The 2011 spring harvest of this tea sold out. The spring 2012 harvest is now available:
http://verdanttea.com/teas/hand-picked-spring-tieguanyin/

A Steepster page for the new spring 2012 harvest is here:
http://steepster.com/teas/verdant-tea/26569-hand-picked-spring-tieguanyin

About Verdant Tea View company

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58 Tasting Notes

1287 tasting notes

This was a sample from Verdant, how generous! thank you!
My first cup of this was lovely, rather light and leafy tasting. Like a lush salad! yum. Second steep however, was ALL Jasmine. Not really my thing. So… I sadly could not finish the cup. Anyone who enjoys Jasmine however, would love this tea. I plan on donating the rest to my Mumsies :)
Rating: first cup = 87, second cup = 60 for an overall rating of 76. I’m sure Mum will place it closer to 90 though!

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100
374 tasting notes

It was as if David and Co. over at Verdant were reading my mind when I placed my last order for Sun Dried Jingshan…because I almost ordered some of this too. I’d tried and LOVED the Autumn picked variety so I was really curious to compare the two. Well, guess which sample turned up in my order!!??

This one is also fantastic! Very light and refreshing, the perfect tea to end my evening with. I’m loving the buttery/creamy flavor too. Clearly you can’t go wrong picking up either fall or spring oolong. I fear another order may be placed a little too soon! The bigger problem would be trying to hid it from my husband. ;)

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100
485 tasting notes

GUH. This tea was like drinking GOD, if God were green and leafy and buttery and sweet and a little bit floral but not too much and GUH. Amazing. I steeped this three times and each cup had a slightly different personality, each one utterly delicious.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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92
19 tasting notes

This is EASILY the best TGY I’ve ever had. I’m happy to have found Verdant Teas, for their teas are wonderful (and are getting pretty high ratings here on Steepster all around).

Brewing this Western-style (1 tsp / 8 oz. water), I managed to get 2-3 strong cups before the tea became significantly weak.

The first cup was yelling lilacs, to the point of being lightly perfumey. It was so good! I love those kinds of floral qualities, and the vegetal aftertaste complemented it extremely well. This tea is very smooth, making it even better for this time of year.

The second cup lacked much of the lilac power, but that’s when the umami and sweetness really jumped out. The vegetal aftertaste actually became stronger, which I personally appreciate.

The third cup, as I stated before, was when it started becoming watery. The vegetal qualities were still faintly there, but everything else had mostly died down. As per David’s advice (which, Verdant Tea’s customer service is better than most places you’ll ever go), I think next time I’ll try using more tea, and steep it for a shorter amount of time. One thing I did miss was the creamy-buttery flavor so many TGYs have, but perhaps with more tea next time I’ll be able to bring it out. Perhaps trying Gong-fu steeping would help as well.

I loved this TGY so much, I actually am dedicating a new Yixing I just received to it. If you even remotely like greener oolongs, you must buy this variety!!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Spoonvonstup

Hurray! I always love it when people try this tea, because I also think this is the best TGY out there by a long shot. I’m impressed you got so much out of this doing it western style in a larger pot. You will really love this one in a gaiwan or small teapot gongfu style (good choice, dedicating a pot to this! we’ve got two TGY pots at home that have been enjoying this tea). The smaller cups and shorter steep times with more leaf really shows off how much the tea changes over time, and wil reveal how creamy and buttery this tea really is (and it is!). It taste more like a mix of spring and autumn TGY in that way, actually, which is one of the reasons I like it so much. You will be so pleased when you drink this gong-fu style; I’m excited for you! Happy drinking!

Brooklyn

Thanks! I’ll definitely keep things posted as I drink more :D

Geoffrey

I concur with Spoonvonsup on this one. Gongfu is the way to go with this tea! You can steep it 20+ times with that method and it won’t stop giving. I can leave this tea in my gaiwan and steep it over and over for three days, remaining very happy with the results well into those later infusions. If you have a gaiwan, you might want to try this tea in that as well while you’re seasoning your new yixing teapot for it. In any case, happy drinking!

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98
50 tasting notes

I used more tea this time, about two even teaspoons for 12 ounces.

1st steep, 165F, 3 min
The flavors are like I remember from the last time I tasted this, but stronger (as expected). They made such an impression the last time I tasted this that the aroma and taste are like meeting up with an old friend. There is a new piquancy that bites the side of my tongue and back of the throat that I don’t remember from before. This steep has great floral notes that are strong and still larger than the green and savory oolong flavor. The floral notes are complex and clear. I still can’t decide what flower the floral notes remind me of, but there are a lot of them together.

2nd steep, 165F, 4 min
This is a darker liquor with a strong, savory oolong aroma. The floral aroma is secondary now.
The taste profile is different from the first steep. There is a definite fruity sweetness up front and a more moderate floral flavor. The savory flavor is stronger. The tastes are smooth with just a slight hint of an edge. There is a vegetal flavor that I don’t remember before. The floral notes come in late in the sip. I love the slight bite. I love the faint fruity ester aftertaste.

I think it’s better with more (enough?) tea. I love how many things there are to taste here. What a pleasure. Enjoying these two very nice cups of tea put my day in a sense-making frame.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Spoonvonstup

Wow! Again, I’m really impressed this tea changed and grew so much for you in a big pot. I basically never do this tea in a pot because I get so much out of it in the gaiwan. I really encourage you to try this in a smaller vessel (gong-fu style in a small pot or a gaiwan) because I think you will like it even more than you do now.

teamax

Someday, I will.

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99
19 tasting notes

I loved this tea! I received it as a sample from Verdant Tea. Thanks David! This is a relatively green tieguanyin, and not bitter, at all. It’s robustly floral, creamy and sweet. Not thinking, I used boiling water, and so I didn’t make it to 30 steeps (It was a long day, and I was pretty brain dead). However, it didn’t hurt a thing, and it was still quite excellent, and not bitter, at all. In fact, there was a distinct evergreen, sort of pine, flavor and aroma. It was most delicious, and a big part of why I rated this so high. After a dozen or so steepings, the floral and evergreen flavors started to taper-off, and the sweet, creamy flavor began to take center stage. After 15 or so, this started to take on more of a classical tieguanyin flavor. It’s very clean and smooth, and the beautiful color really held on, well into the later steepings. The sweetness lingers in my mouth, and keeps it watering. I can totally see this becoming a favorite!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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99
41 tasting notes

This is easily the best Oolong I have tried from the new spring picking this year. Incredibly creamy and a fresh lilac that is amongst some of the most perfect Tieguanyin I have ever had. Though this tea is not perhaps the highest end in competition in China because of its creaminess, it makes it much more affordable and honestly, it is hard to tell if this is indeed inferior to some of the very floral Tieguanyin’s that are available.

Overall this has been my favorite tea of the new season.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Spoonvonstup

Anyone who doesn’t prefer creamy ambrosia is quite possibly on crack.. more for us!! I dont think I’ve ever had a better Tieguanyin than this one, and I spent straight months of my life trying one after another with my tea friends/teachers in China.

Nathaniel Gruber

It really is that good, you’re right!

ScottTeaMan

WOW…….based on your review, I’m going to add Verdant Tea to my ever growing list of tea companies. :))

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100 tasting notes

Working my way through my Verdant Oolong samples and after three sessions with this tea, I have a handle on my feelings about this tea. First of all, the infused leaves are beautiful—I leave them on a white plate during the day to marvel at the size and brilliant green color with lightly bruised edges. The fragrance of the brewed tea reminds me of daylillies and cut grass and the first mouthful is nicely balanced between the vegetal (fresh steamed spinach or chard) and the floral. There’s a sweet fruity fizz that asserts itself after as few seconds—pleasantly so. This isn’t the kind of tea that is likely to have me writhing with pleasure—I tend to favor black teas and pu-erhs—but I can appreciate the unimpeachable excellence of its qualities and I defer to others who insist this is one of the best Tieguanyins available.

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95
38 tasting notes

I received this as a sample from Verdant Teas so a “Thank You Very Much” is in order! I am so glad I got to try this. It is not something I would choose on my own mainly because of my “newness” to the world of tea. At this stage in the game my lack of “tea experience” really hinders me from identifying all the unique flavors that unfold with each steeping of this tea (that so many others can distinguish). But I do know I love the size and smell of these leaves!
Right now I can simply say I really really like this tea!

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99
96 tasting notes

What a beautiful Spring Oolong! I loaded up my gaiwan and brewed just as David suggested, yielding a nice succession of cups almost exactly as described. Wonderful aromas, wonderful flavor and a really pleasant morning sipping on this tea.

Since I grow orchids, I didn’t get this as the most prominent scent. Instead I get the sweet honeysuckle, with a background of orange blossom and jasmine. The first two steeps give a slightly green flavor followed by buttery creaminess in the later brews and some even have a faint aroma of pine or fir trees behind the floral bouquet.

An outstanding tea, plain and simple. ;)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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