drank Monkey-Picked Oolong by Teavana
57 tasting notes

I recently purchased this tea from Teavana to see how well their Ti Kuan Yin stacked up to others in the market. While certainly not a bad tea, I had a few complaints about the quality of this particular one.

The dry leaves had a faint floral aroma, tightly curled up, with a light green/dark green mix with some splotches of brown.

I prepared this tea according to the suggested steep time of 3 min and using 195F water using a gaiwan.

The resulting brew gave me a clear dark yellow-green cup with a faint floral aroma. As with my other TKY’s, I intended to brew the tea at least 7 times.

My first cup was sweet, floral, with a slightly creamy texture and a surprising hint of milky flavor (like those present in the famous “Milk Oolongs”). My second cup retained its sweetness and floral aroma but was much less creamy and with no “milky” hint. In my third steeping, the brew became quite bland, retaining just a hint of the floral taste. In my fourth cup, the tea became just a hint of what it once was and now had a faint bitter taste in the background. From this point forward, I knew this tea wouldn’t make it to the seventh steep. I decided to steep it two more times and the resulting brews in the 5th and 6th cup were pale green cups with no aroma and small hints of flavor. I didn’t bother with a seventh cup because by now, my tea just tasted as slightly flavored hot water.

I checked on the wet leaves and while Teavana claims of “unbroken, evenly sized leaves,” this tea was made of nothing but broken pieces of leaves, a few steams, and two or three well preserved leaves . The leaves also felt quite fragile to the touch.

Overall, My first cup was pretty enjoyable, although not as complex as others I’ve tasted but still quite good. The only problem I have with this tea is that it releases most, if not all, of its flavor in the first cup making the subsequent cups just a far cry of what it once was. I feel this tea would be great as an everyday oolong, but the price ($25 for 2oz) and claims of quality (highest grade of oolong in the world) does not match its value.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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SoCal native and Tea addict.

Looking to try every single type of tea the world has to offer.

I’m not too fond of flavored tea or blends, but every now and then, there will be one that I like.

I enjoy all types of tea, but my absolute favorites are Japanese Greens and Oolongs.

I am much more familiar with Chinese and Japanese teas. I’m looking to get in to Korean tea next and then Indian/Ceylons. Herbals are good too, but I don’t pay much attention to them (except rooibos).

Ti Kuan Yin (or Tie Guan Yi, whichever you prefer) Is one of my favorite teas. I’m trying to taste many offerings from different vendors to find the absolute best batch I can find.

My “Tea-Dream” is to one day make a cultural-tea trip to China, Taiwan, and Japan.

Ratings Guide

0 – 19 = Bad.
20 – 49 = Meh.
50 – 59 = It’s Ok.
60 – 69 = I like it, but…
70 – 79 = Good.
80 – 89 = Very Good.
90 – 100 = Amazing.


Los Angeles, CA

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