Competition Grade Tie Guan Yin Oolong tea of Gande Village

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Ingredients
Oolong Tea
Flavors
Apple, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Citrus, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grapefruit, Grass, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Melon, Metallic, Mineral, Orange, Orchid, Parsley, Peach, Peas, Pleasantly Sour, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal, Violet, Zucchini, Bitter, Asparagus, Creamy, Sweet, Apple Skins, Biting, Cannabis, Fish Broth, Green, Lemon Zest, Moss, Pine, Rainforest, Seaweed, Spicy, Sweet, Warm Grass, Vegetables, Orchids, Smooth
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Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Togo
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 6 g 4 oz / 125 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I don’t think I’m the only one who’s happy that 2020 is ending. Like many of you, I’ll be spending the holidays alone. I was going to get together with my family, but the widespread lockdown and...” Read full tasting note
    98
  • “Large quantities of this tea do not fit with my budget – alas, because it’s very good. Fortunately, it comes in a small sample size. Faintly floral, with heavy but not overwhelming vegetable...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “I’m finally getting around to trying this sampler I bought from Yunnan Sourcing. It wasn’t cheap but as I got about multiple steeps out of my session, I’ll call it even. This is probably my top 3...” Read full tasting note
    86
  • “Autumn 2018 harvest. Brewed at boiling — let’s see what this tea is capable of. It’s so thick — like an unset jelly. Try it grandpa style for the best effect. It’s sweet, most awesomely tangy,...” Read full tasting note
    100

From Yunnan Sourcing

This is the highest grade of Tie Guan Yin we have ever come across. It’s unique to Gan De village and cannot be beat in terms of taste and aroma. It can be infused many many times each time yielding a distinctive thick “Guan Yin” aroma and taste. Expansive in the mouth and throat.

About Yunnan Sourcing View company

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12 Tasting Notes

98
255 tasting notes

I don’t think I’m the only one who’s happy that 2020 is ending. Like many of you, I’ll be spending the holidays alone. I was going to get together with my family, but the widespread lockdown and rising case counts in Ontario made us change our plans at the last minute. With things feeling less than festive, I’ve decided to dip into my tiny stash of pricy, aspirational teas that I’ve been hoarding for several years. I always worry that I won’t appreciate these treasures, or conversely, that they’ll ruin me for all the good but not great tea I can afford to drink regularly. Nonetheless, I’ll be sampling some of these teas throughout the holidays.

This green Tie Guan Yin is from spring 2016. I steeped my entire 7 g sample in a 120 ml teapot at 195F for 7, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 90, 120, and 240 seconds.

The dry aroma of these still green leaves is of citrus, orchid, cream, baked bread, and apple. The first steep has notes of orange, apricot, orchid, baked bread, cream, violet, lilac, honeysuckle, grass, apple, butter, and herbs (Eastkyteaguy says parsley, and I agree). The second steep adds honey and a pungent note of zucchini. The third gives me more lilac and orchid, as well as gardenia, sweet pea, custard, grapefruit, peach, melon, peas, spinach, and minerals. (That peachy aftertaste alone is enough of a reason to buy this tea!) I love how the fruit, florals, and veggies are so balanced.

In the next few steeps, the tea gets less fruity, with the florals, veggies, umami, herbs, and creamy sweetness balancing out. However, I still get those apple/melon/stonefruit notes if I look for them. I also get some pepper and metallic notes, with a lemon-like tang. There’s a pleasant sourness by steep seven. The tea keeps becoming more pungent and vegetal, but is still surprisingly balanced and enjoyable until the end of the session.

This is easily the best Tie Guan Yin I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. At $29 for 50 grams, it’s expensive but not out of reach. I’ve paid $15 per ounce for Li Shan and Bai Hao teas from Taiwan, though admittedly, I usually get only one ounce. I won’t wait another four years to buy more of this tea!

Flavors: Apple, Apricot, Baked Bread, Butter, Citrus, Cream, Custard, Floral, Gardenias, Grapefruit, Grass, Herbaceous, Honey, Honeysuckle, Lemon, Melon, Metallic, Mineral, Orange, Orchid, Parsley, Peach, Peas, Pleasantly Sour, Spinach, Umami, Vegetal, Violet, Zucchini

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML
ashmanra

Yes, I have new twin grandbabies and can’t see them. I am a hugger who can9t hug anyone. My husband is essential personnel and is in line to get the vaccine as soon as January 4th. I am ready for things to get better.

White Antlers

Leafhopper Take it from a very old lady-Use the ‘good stuff’ now. Don’t save it for a rainy day/special occasion. A lot of us will be spending the winter holidays alone this year. Wonderful, special tea is good solace for that. Remember that you have all your Steepster friends, so none of us are truly alone.

Leafhopper

Ashmanra, not being able to see your grandkids is hard, though I’m glad to hear your husband will be vaccinated soon. The U.S. seems to be rolling out vaccines faster than Canada is. Like you, I’m more than ready for things to go back to normal. This has been a long year.

White Antlers, you’re right, I should use the good tea while it’s fresh (or at least while it’s clinging to its last vestiges of flavour in the case of some of my older teas!). Steepster has definitely helped me feel less alone.

Mastress Alita

Yes on 2020. I celebrate Festivus, and I fear I’ll need an extra day to get through my Airing of Grievances this year, haha!

I used to horde my “good stuff” and then by the time I got back to it, the flavor and/or quality had degraded. I’m trying to sipdown my cupboard to a managable state so that when I buy new tea, I can actually enjoy it when its at its tastiest!

Leafhopper

Mastress Alita, I had to look up Festivus traditions and think the airing of grievances is a good one, although I’m sure it can lead to some arguments.

I have some good teas that are probably no longer as good because I’ve been hoarding them for so long. I have a Da Yu Ling from 2017 that I’m scared to open! Some of my average teas sit in my backlog for over a year before I get around to them. I really need to discover just how much tea I have and then not buy any more until it’s at a reasonable level, but somehow I never get around to doing that.

Martin Bednář

You are speaking about vaccines and we will give first shots maaaybe in February.

But yep, I don’t want to speak aobut it here. It’s hard, though I spend my time with my family (I live still with parents, as obvious from a few notes) and this tea seems just great. I am happy that 2020 ends, and I am praying that 2021 will be, at least a tiny bit, better.

tea-sipper

Yes, at least the vaccine is progress. I wish you some lovely socially distanced fancy tea sipping!

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80
91 tasting notes

Large quantities of this tea do not fit with my budget – alas, because it’s very good. Fortunately, it comes in a small sample size. Faintly floral, with heavy but not overwhelming vegetable flavours. It has some bitterness, but in a way that fits perfectly with the rest of the taste; everything balances very well.

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Vegetal

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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86
54 tasting notes

I’m finally getting around to trying this sampler I bought from Yunnan Sourcing. It wasn’t cheap but as I got about multiple steeps out of my session, I’ll call it even.

This is probably my top 3 TGYs I’ve ever had. It’s only 7 grams, and upon opening the tightly rolled tea balls have a smack-in-your-face aroma. When you brew it, the leaves open up like a pond lily, so plan accordingly.

I used 5 grams for a hot brew then 2 grams for a 350 ml cold brew. And I’m glad I only used 5 grams! The fully opened leaves were overflowing my 160 ml gaiwan after the first two steeps!

Flavors are a nicely balanced but complex set of flavors that border on the delicate — sweet grass & vegetal (asparagus/spinach), sweet butter/cream, and a touch of umami & minerality . No astringency at all.

First few steeps are sweet balancing out the umami / mineral finish. Later steeps, the balance shifts with the start of umami/mineral followed by a lesser sweetness of vegetal flavors. The liquid is crisp & clean, with a medium body /viscosity. Cha Qi is mild but very pleasant. It was a warm & humid day but this tea hit the spot.

Brew spec: 200 deg F at 30 sec, 60 sec, 90 etc. this tea can take the longer steep times and I will push the time out for later tastings. (The initial 30 seconds was not enough time to really let the leaves open and give enough flavor. )

I also did a cold brew on this tea with the 2grams with 350ml cold water . And it is absolutely wonderful!!

Out of the bottle, it looks like a white wine. It’s thick & viscous. The texture reminds me of the texture of Gewurztraminer — rich, silky, and with a hint of honeysuckle nectar

However, it’s flavor pulls no punches. There’s sweet grass/spinach, the predominant aroma & flavor of roses, with an aftertaste of umami/minerality. It’s balanced, it’s smooth, it’s incredibly decadent. This is the tea version of a dessert iced wine. I’d drink this by itself or pair it with grapes.

Flavors: Asparagus, Creamy, Grass, Sweet, Umami

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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100
875 tasting notes

Autumn 2018 harvest. Brewed at boiling — let’s see what this tea is capable of.

It’s so thick — like an unset jelly. Try it grandpa style for the best effect.
It’s sweet, most awesomely tangy, mineral and pleasantly metallic, hint of custard.
Intensely yet softly aromatic with an expansive, lingering perfume. The aroma and tea fill my mouth.
The leaves expand like a dry sponge wetted, escape my teapot when brewed gongfu and instantly settle to the bottom of my grandpa brewing jar.

Floral — magnolia to the max, lilac, sweet pea, gardenia

Vegetal — bok choi, green cabbage, zucchini, sugar snap peas, English peas, green bell pepper

Spicy — musk, white pepper, black pepper

Fruity — golden apple, lemon, golden melon, ripe peach and apricot

Umami — white mushroom broth

Nature — pine forest when clouds break after a spring rain, moss

All in balance.

Wonderful calm and alert cha qi that is non-interfering.

This tea has completely changed my unfavorable perception of tieguanyin oolong. Wholeheartedly recommended.

Thanks, Togo <3

Song: MEUTE — You & Me (Flume Remix)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKFbnhcNnjE

Preparation
Boiling 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Bluegreen

Wow, a hundred. Like the confidence.

hawkband1

Great description!

LuckyMe

Wow. I used to love TGY but then wrote it off because I got tired of how perfumey it is. This makes me want to revisit it.

derk

This one does have a great depth to it that keeps the perfume from going straight to my noggin.

Natethesnake

I’ve had the spring but not the autumn. Will try next order.

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93
586 tasting notes

[Autumn 2018 harvest]

I am treating myself to a special tea today, a competition grade TGY. Straight after opening the pouch, I can tell it’s a great one. It is the strongest smelling ball rolled tea I have encountered. The aroma reminds me of a conifer (spruce?) forest after summer rain, with some extra hints of cabbage. It is very “green” smelling. In a preheated pot, I get an unreasonably strong asparagus aroma, followed by apricot, apple and custard. Once the leaves open up, they exude a mixture of cooked vegetables (carrots predominately), lemon skin and later on throughout the session also cannabis.

The taste is very delicate, mineral and sweet. The first infusion has flavours of custard, cream, warm grass, spinach and fish broth. Second steep gets more metallic and vegetal, while the third one has a stronger umami flavour mixed with notes of melon and grape skins. I pushed infusions 4 and 5 a bit more and found them to be a little flatter in the flavour profile, but more spicy. Steep 6 is more grassy and has a new flavour which reminds me of courgette.

The aftertaste is slightly biting and quite crisp. It is floral and has a nice sour touch to it, nothing abrasive like so many of the lower grade TGY I have had. There are notes of seaweed, vanilla ice cream and moss too in the aftertaste. The sensation is warming at first, but becomes cooling in the throat after a while. The mouthfeel is generally very soft, velvety and lubricating with medium body.

As for the cha qi, it’s mild and very pleasant I’d say. It is quite body warming and mind focusing, as well as elevating.

This is undoubtedly the best TGY I have ever tried, it’s not even close. Now, the question is: Is it worth the price? I am not sure. I think maybe yes, as long as I haven’t found a comparable tea at a more competitive price. I don’t drink TGY often, but when I do, I would like to be able to drink this one. The 7g yielded about 1.3l of tea in 8 steeps, which is about what I would expect from a high grade TGY.

Flavors: Apple Skins, Apricot, Asparagus, Biting, Cannabis, Cream, Custard, Fish Broth, Floral, Grass, Green, Lemon Zest, Melon, Metallic, Mineral, Moss, Pine, Pleasantly Sour, Rainforest, Seaweed, Spicy, Spinach, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Umami, Vegetables, Vegetal, Zucchini

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 7 g 5 OZ / 160 ML

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88
87 tasting notes

This is for the Spring 2017

first steep. strong spinach and iron. slight flint. friend says mushroom.
more floral with cooler water
lingering minerality
I wanted to try to see what good unroasted TieGuanYin ‘should’ taste like

Preparation
0 min, 15 sec

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77 tasting notes

Drank Jun 29. Spring 2017 release. Will review later.

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100
26 tasting notes

I ordered this tea as sample (Autumn 2016 version), as it’s very expensive. My initial impression was disappointment that the color wasn’t as green as what was pictured. I steeped it at 185F and gave it about a minute. The color of the liquor wasn’t strong at all and my expectations really lowered after these two things. However, I was blown away on the first sip. The liquor has primarily a sweet orchid taste, bringing back memories of Hawaii, which eases into a subtle seaweed aftertaste. It has salty (“mineral”) notes as well. There is amazing complexity to it – what one would hope for in a tea that costs this much. Furthermore, it has an amazing cha qi – I felt a sudden clarity and giddiness after consuming the first cup. I was so impressed with this tea that I infused it several times. I think this would make a fantastic ‘social’ or ceremonial tea. This can’t be an every day tea for most of us, but worth having a sample or two around for special occasions. If I’m in the mood for something elegant and refined this is what I will go to.

Flavors: Mineral, Orchids, Seaweed

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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92
13 tasting notes

Yes this is special. Aromatic and clean, fragrant and pleasing. Leaves expand a lot and they are very green.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 70 ML

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90
35 tasting notes

I used the whole 7g package in my 120 ml gaiwan, and it turns out that was probably too much because the expanded leaf after a few steeps sticks out over the top of the gaiwan.

Leaf is a beautiful dark green with most leaves very intact. The taste is flowery and vegetal. I’ve not had many flowery tasting teas, so this is a unique treat.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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