Ti Kuan Yin

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Green, Toasty, Nutty, Orchids
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Edit tea info Last updated by Oolonga
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 45 sec 5 g 6 oz / 182 ml

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79 Tasting Notes View all

  • “My 1st Ti Kuan Yin! I’ve seen lots of amazing tasting notes about Samovar’s version(Monkey Picked Iron Goddess of Mercy), but I wasn’t sure how big the sample size is and I have a butt load of...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is a lovely Oolong, sweet, pleasing orchid notes which are quite delicate at first, but reveal themselves more with the infusions that follow. I’m currently on my fourth infusion, and sadly...” Read full tasting note
  • “Well, I was going to plow through the black tea sampler first, but I decided that I wanted to try something else instead. (I did actually drink a cup of yunnan jig this morning, but I just…drank...” Read full tasting note
  • “I have had this before and loved it. This love has continued to this batch as well. I would love to note more about this but I don’t have time. Gotta love Tech week, moving, and school all at once...” Read full tasting note

From Adagio Teas

Oolong tea from the Fujian province of China. In Mandarin, Ti Kuan Yin means ‘iron goddess of mercy,’ a name derived from local legend. This tea is arguably the finest of Chinese oolongs, with competition-grade varieties selling for thousand of dollars a pound.

$24/4 oz

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at www.adagio.com and in many gourmet and health food stores.

79 Tasting Notes

104 tasting notes

I was intrigued by a green tea that steeps for 5 minutes in boiling water (usually reserved for black tea) but was pleasantly surprised by the results: A smooth, strong taste and aroma without a lot of the ‘grassy’ taste usually associated with green tea. The leaves themselves unroll as they steep, so the process is interesting as well. Definitely lives up to the hype that other reviews have given.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Need to try this, had one from peets tea/coffee that I wasn’t too fond of. . . Ti Kuan Yin has a very unique flavor. . .maybe steeping it longer will do the trick!

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110 tasting notes

A light, gold-green liquor with a remarkably rich flavor. Buttery and sweet, with a faint vegetal aftertaste. This is one of those teas that is complete in itself – it would be spoiled with any additions. The dry leaf is compact and heavy, and expands dramatically during brewing.


Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

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154 tasting notes

Tried a longer steeping time because of going over the other reviews and wondering if I just got a weird batch… no I didn’t.
My initial steep was for about 3 minutes. Putting it up over 4 does bring out a darker side with a deep toasty flavor that could be considered bitter. I just think it’s heavier… but I can see why others would have called it bitter.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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42 tasting notes

Steeps to a pale gold in my double walled glass mug. Smells of vegetables, grass, maybe butter and a hint of something spicy. Tastes of vegetables, green leafy, ends with a hint of fennel or black licorice (could that be the spicy that I was smelling before?).

Has a very nice layered complexity of flavors that I enjoy. Similar in complexity to a good silver needle, but bolder. After swallowing the tea finishes with a crisp dryness that I like in my lighter teas and this one does not disappoint. There is a feeling in your mouth afterwards that you might have just eaten something buttery, but it is very mild and definitely isn’t of the “salted buttery” popcorn flavor that some might expect from that comment.

I like this tea, I will put it on my shopping list since this sample is going to run out soon. Light oolongs are rapidly becoming one of my favorite teas to drink.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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308 tasting notes

I’ve had this tea for a while and I have finally gotten around to trying it. I hadn’t tried it before because every time I opened the tin it smelled so grassy. But it brews up into a very nice, light, and floral tea with only mild grassiness in the background. It has a beautiful golden color. I added some agave nectar to it since I like my tea sweet.

Brewing info: rinsed tea leaves in hot water for about 5-10 seconds then brewed with hot water (~190 F) for 3 1/2 minutes.

Update: I did NOT like this on the second brew. Brewed again for 3 1/2 minutes and the cup was very grassy. So, I recommend only one brewing of this if you want to avoid the grass flavor.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

I think the grassy flavor is probably coming from the 3 minute infusion. Give 45 seconds a try, and increase in 20 second increments until you find the flavor you like. I haven’t had Adagio’s TGY, but oolongs usually seem to work well for me with a 30 second to 1 minute thirty infusion.


I’ll try that next time. Thanks.

Jim Marks

Don’t ever, ever buy Japanese shade-grown green teas if you don’t like grassy.


Thanks Jim.

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206 tasting notes

My first Ti Kuan Yin! When just dry it smelled inviting. I have to say I am very satisfied with this tea. At first when the 5 minute steep was up I had to check and make sure I actually had leaves in it… The color was very light but I guess from reading reviews that is normal ☺. Phew glad it wasnt just me. The aroma was that of a green tea and a hint of mint. I added a tad bit of honey and just loved it. Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tea with me Moraiwe.

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46 tasting notes

Not much can be said that hasn’t already been mentioned about this tea. Smooth, easy-drinking tea with very little astringency and a nutty sweetness. If you consider yourself an oolong aficionado you will not go wrong buying this tea. It is great for multiple steeps and each re-steep brings out more nuanced flavors that will continue to surprise your taste buds. As a bonus, this tea is very pleasant to watch unfurl in the water as it is steeping.

Method: 1tsp./8oz water, 185º-190º, 3-5 minutes. Add one minute for each re-steep.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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682 tasting notes

The sooner I get home, the sooner I can drink tea!
Ahh so this tea. I reached into my sipdown bag and this was the first my hand touched! So I dumped the rest into my jar and it’s brewing now! From what I remember, I think I really liked this one! When I bought this a while back, this was one of the first oolong teas I’ve had :)

It smells and tastes like any other regular greenish oolong tea. Sweet and crisp with a touch of the musky oolong scent, which is nice :) Not sad to see this go, but also not happy. I probably won’t go out of my way to buy this because there are TONS more oolongs that I’d love to try, but if I receive this from a friend, I definitely won’t turn it down :)

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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8 tasting notes

This was my first time trying this variety of tea. The dry leaves looked quite green, so I was afraid to use boiling water and did the first infusion for 4 minutes at 190F. The result was light and definitely floral. There was none of the bitter or toasty or buttery flavors others have noted, just floral. Almost like a jasmine oolong, except much lighter. The leaves hadn’t opened up at all after this, so I decided to do the second with boiling water for 5 minutes. This came out much better. The leaves opened up completely; there was even an complete, full leaf in there. The tea was stronger, and still floral but definitely had some of the toasty/buttery flavor. I did boiling water for 7 minutes for the third infusion and it came out much like the first. I wanted to try one more, so I did boiling water for 10 minutes, and it actually came out a little better than the previous.

Next time I make this, I’m going to try using a bit more dry leaf and boiling water for all infusions (possibly starting with a rinse). I’d like to see at least two full-flavored infusions.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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57 tasting notes

I recently ordered several samples from Adagio and as a fan of TKY’s I had to place a sample of this in there. The tea comes in a nice foil Ziploc bag with Adagio’s logo and short instructions on how to brew. I was pleased when the sample size was about an ounce, as most tea vendors that offer samples give you much less than half an ounce.

The dry leaves have the typical TKY look, dark jade green with splotches of lighter green in between, I also noticed some brownish spots but nothing too prevalent. The leaves were tightly curled up, firm, and slightly oily. The smell of the dry leaves was slightly floral but it had a slight unpleasant metallic smell. Not too strong, subtle actually, but still noticeable that was enough to bother me, maybe old tea?

Anyways, I brewed this tea following the suggested directions, using 195F water and 3 min steep time. As with all my Chinese teas, I brewed this using a Gaiwan.

This gave me a bright yellow green cup with a slight flowery aroma, but something was off, the aroma had an “old” smell to it. Usually TKY’s have a distinctive floral aroma and this one had it too (although not as strong as others) but it also had another, again subtle yet noticeable, off aroma that bothered me. I can’t describe it in other words other than “old tea” aroma. Taste wise the tea was ok. Very Light in taste, lightly floral, and perhaps even a slightly creamy finish. In my second and third cup, the aroma slightly cleared up but the “offness” was still there. Flavor remained mostly unchanged. On the 4th and 5th cup, taste became “greener” and lighter. the 6th cup was very light in taste, so I ended the brewing there.

The wet leaf revealed few stems, medium sized leaves, and most leaves had one form of damage to them.

Overall, since I received almost an ounce worth of sample, I experimented a lot with this tea with different brew times and techniques(gongfu) but flavor/aroma “offness” was still there. Maybe I got a bad batch or it was a sample that was tucked away for a long time and they decided to send it to me, but let’s just say I did not really enjoy drinking this tea (first few infusions were terrible, but becomes drinkable/slightly enjoyable in the later ones as the aroma clears up) I may purchase another sample in the far future just to confirm what I think about this tea, but as of right now I would not purchase this tea.

*after reading some reviews, seems that maybe I did get an old sample… shame.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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