TieGuanYin Monkey Picked-Oolong

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Oolong Tea
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200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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From Zen Tea

Produced in Fujian, China. In appearance this tea is a dark-roasted, highly oxidized and of a coffee-bean colour. The dry-leaf aroma is of spices and flowers. The dominant flavour of the brewed tea is dried peach with a lingering fruit and spice aftertaste. The aroma is long-lasting with hints of sweet honey and spice in combination. This tea aids digestion and also can boost energy levels.

Price: $ 10 / 100g

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16 Tasting Notes

1570 tasting notes

It was 50+ F today – Yeah! In the morning we are expecting to wake up to Ice + sleet + snow, BOO! So we ran around today. Judging by the roads apparently everybody around here did the same thing.

So this evening I had my first cup of tea. I didn’t even remember having this one. I reached to the bottom and grabbed. I really have got to organize. It is so out of hand.

Moderately roasted. It was not bad, but I have learned I just prefer unroasted greener oolongs.


Uugh, so jealous of your weather. We are still in the deep freeze here. 7F, and feels like -9F with the windchill factor. Waaaah!


Weather prayers answered here as well, still 12 and sleety enough to make driving hazardous, but not the knee-deep blizzard ominously predicted all week.


gmathis we have ice, ice, and more ice. Very treacherous at the moment. Fortunately I do not have to get out in it. The snow went north. At least the power has remained on and it is sort of warm (in the 20’s). This is the winter that never ends.


Forecast “improved” since earlier comment…sleet and up to 6" due tonight. My work will be closed—one less thing to worry about while juggling other crises.


(edit) 6" of snow


Yeah for getting out of work and Boo for snow and crises. Prayers lifted for better days.

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2048 tasting notes

I had two nice surprises today. I found this rice pattern tea set at an estate sale for $5. I almost didn’t get it because I really don’t NEED it, but who could possibly leave it there when it is only $5?


Then I got home and discovered that my samples from Zen Tea had arrived! These are very nice size samples, too, leaving plenty of room for experimentation.

I love roasted oolongs and I especially love monkey-picked tieguanyins. I was glad to see steeping instructions on the front of the packet so I didn’t have to stop and check the instructions online.

The dry leaves are large and very dark, and you can readily tell by smell that this is a dark roasted oolong. After steeping the liquor is a beautiful golden color, very pretty in my double walled glass cups.

The flavor is nice and follows through on its roasted aroma like a memory of the processing it went through. This reminds me a little of a Da Hong Pao. There are hints of spice and baked apricots – you know the ones near the edge of the cobbler where things start to get crispy. The more I drink, the more the flavor is lingering. As it cools, it just keeps getting better. Yum!

The description says this is a good tea for digestion, and I am grateful because I am trying to get off of omeprazole and need all the help I can get!

This resteeps well and seems to be a very good quality oolong tea. Thank you, Zen Tea, for the opportunity to try it!

Oh, and all you folks who are getting into matcha, keep an eye on Zen Tea’s site. They have a great sifter like you see in videos but I have NEVER been able to find, but they are sold out right now. I want one!


Love the tea set! For $5 – what a steal.

Rachel Sincere

I could never leave a $5 tea set behind!




Nice tea set! you should also try digestive enzymes if you haven’t already….


Gorgeous set! What a steal!


That’s a lovely tea set! A great find!


When I first went in it was marked $20 but they said it was half off since it is the second day of the sale. I went back to look at it again and a new sticker was over the old one, and they said again everything was half of what it was marked. I just couldn’t see leaving it behind!


Ay Oh, a friend found sme awesome ones years ago. Even my gastroenterologist was impressed with them and wanted to know where to get them, but I can’t remember what they were. Plus, they were terribly expensive! Do you have any recommendations on brand?


That was supposed to say AMY OH, not Ay Oh!

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1774 tasting notes

I finished this up today too! All the teas I packed for today were sipdowns! #sneaky

I probably shouldn’t have brewed it because I was feeling a bit meh while drinking it, but I THOUGHT it sounded good.

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16 tasting notes

I can’t say whether I favor Oolong over Puerh. A good oolong is hard to beat. Of course, unlike Puerh, oolong spans a wide range of flavor profiles. Personally, I prefer highly oxidized, heavily roasted oolongs. Because of my own preferences, most of my favorites come out of Fujian, and not Taiwan. Most tea experts find Taiwan high mountain teas superior because of their floral bouquet and complex, light flavor. I don’t doubt that they are correct, and maybe my palate will one day evolve to expert status. However, right now, I like this.

Opening this bountiful sample from Zen Tea, the aroma was warm and roasty. The tea is dark; fully oxidized. After a quick wash, the brilliant aroma of Fall in the north comes to mind. Leaves, spices, apple cider, a fire in the fireplace.
The taste is just as pleasant as the aroma. There are a lot of flavors in this tea, and all of them are welcome. This tea possesses high notes mostly of spice, maybe nutmeg or hints of cinnamon. There is a sweetness in the taste, especially after the roastiness subsides. The sweetness is that of corn or tomatoes not sugar or flowers. I think this tea is loaded with umami-like flavors, both overt and subtle. This makes me want to drink more. The more times I steep, the roasted qualities fade and the sweeter aspects prevail. This tea has very nice body, depth and a clean finish.

I like oxidized oolongs in general, and I very much like this specific TieGuanYin from Zen Tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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1162 tasting notes

I can’t believe I made my Zen Tea order back in the spring and there are still some that I haven’t even opened yet. This should have been done a long time ago!

If you like your roasty oolongs, this one is rather satisfying. The first cup is like roasted fruits or something. The second steep is even roastier, and the liquor is even darker than the first infusion. It kind of tastes like toasted bread crusts.


I have an unopened tea from my Della Terra order in the spring. You’re not the only one!

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1780 tasting notes

I liked the idea of a stronger flavored oolong, so I wanted to try this one. The leaves smell very grassy.

Steep one// 2 min// I decided to follow Zen’s instructions and steeped for two minutes. (And they also suggest almost boiling… odd for an oolong!) The steep color isn’t the usual oolong yellow, but a very light brown. The flavor reminds me a bit of a lighter houjicha (probably because they are both roasted!) There is also a bit of that grassy flavor and a bit of a sweet flavor. It’s a bit spicy and a bit milky when it cools. I’d say it’s a bit of everything BUT it doesn’t taste peachy or floral, which is what I’m accustomed to oolongs tasting like. (I guess I’ve been drinking many unusual oolongs lately!) This is good, but I guess I was expecting a stronger flavor. I took a peek in the infuser and the dry brown leaves turned black! Interesting.

Steep two// 2.5 min// This cup is even better! The flavor is deeper and more complex, probably because the leaves have unfurled more. It has a very silky flavor that lingers! Still has that roasted flavor like a houjicha.

Steep three// 3-4 min at boiling// Flavor is still pretty consistent! The second steep was the best. I could probably get more steeps out of this, but I won’t. It’s very good! Another unique oolong.

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300 tasting notes

Steepster gobbled up my tasting note on this last night. Many thanks to Zen Tea for their generously sized complimentary samples! This one is definitely darker than the light and medium roasted oolongs I have been drinking. I normally only discard the first short steep (rinse) on pu’er’s, as the are often the sweetest most sparkling infusions and I really enjoy them, but this one smelled, odd.. and was light purplish hue, one taste told me I best treat it as a rinse.

The next infusion and the leaves had a similar smell. It wasn’t fishy like bad pu-er, though perhaps it was a bit metallic, but really I think it was just charcoally from the dark roast, which I suppose I’m just not used to. The third and fourth infusion were quite nice and left a very satisfying cool and filling feeling between the back of my mouth and my throat.

Next time I would like to do a longer rinse and a longer steep, basically follow the western instructions provided on the packet, instead of the gonfu I did. Thankfully the samples provided allow for several sessions. I will update with my observations then.

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248 tasting notes

Mmmm, tasty (The fiancé didn’t think so, “like drinking alfalfa”. Well, he’s not really an un-flavored tea drinker, or anything in the remotely green category.) I’m trying to get through some samples today since it’s my day off, plus Zen Tea is sending out more so I can’t get behind!

This is really nice, one of my favorite unflavored oolongs I’ve had so far. Definitely like the darker ones. The dry leaf on this smells fantastic, oolong with a bit of raisin. Lovely golden color when brewed. It’s got a nice, light fruit note to it. Really good! I stink at describing oolongs, but I know when I like one!

Tea: 2 tsp
Water: 16 oz, filtered
Additives: None
Infusions: 1st @ 1:30, 2 @ …

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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270 tasting notes

First, thank you Zen Tea for providing generous samples!
I’ve had a couple sessions with this tea now. The first time I followed their instructions of 1 tsp per cup, and I felt it was lacking something. Not bad, but the flavor just kept almost tasting sweet and almost tasting bakey, etc. So I doubled the tea leaves and tried again. This was similar to the first steeping by ‘almost’ tasting like I was hoping it would.
Don’t get me wrong, though. I enjoyed drinking all 6 cups I had, and will enjoy finishing off my sample. This tea’s roasted-ness is delicious, and is very easy to drink. I just wish it had a tish more complexity. As I have more of this sample, maybe I will get my steeping parameters perfected and get the taste I’m looking for. If I do, I will update!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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5 tasting notes

This tea had a very strong roasted oaky taste that was different than the other monkey-picked oolong I tried from Teavana, but I could tell it was of a better quality as it retained its flavor even through the 6th infusion unlike Teavana’s weak version. I normally don’t like a roast this dark, but the flavor slowly grew on me and it tasted good with meals. So if you like a roasted taste combined with the light floral notes of an oolong, you would prefer this over Teavana’s.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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