Tie Kwan Yin (organic)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Plants, Butter, Vegetal, Nutty, Roasted, Floral, Sweet, Wood, Hay
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Kosher, Organic, Vegan
Edit tea info Last updated by partea
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 6 g 8 oz / 241 ml

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61 Tasting Notes View all


A lucky tea

Many years ago, a poor farmer had a dream: the goddess of mercy, Kwan Yin, came to him and spoke of a great treasure in a nearby cave. When he went there, he found a single tea shoot. He planted it and it grew. So he gave cuttings to his neighbours, and they all prospered by creating a beautiful, flowery oolong. Our version is hand-produced on a small family garden near the Wuyi Mountains.

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61 Tasting Notes

3134 tasting notes

Semi-impulse buy when I was at DavidsTea today… definitely didn’t need another tea, but I wanted to try a basic tie kwan yin to compare other green oolongs against (e.g. those from Teavivre). I intended to pick up their High Mountain Oolong too, but didn’t see it on the shelf. The wallet thanks the tea gods for small favours. Another reason I grabbed this tea is because although I like milk oolongs, sometimes the milky flavour can put me off a bit, or be a bit too rich, when all I want is that lovely green oolong flavour. Likewise with overly floral oolongs, so this is one in which neither attribute is prominently featured (I think).

Anyhow, I didn’t have the patience for short infusions today (also, cannot justify wasting MORE time), so western-style brewing it is. A generous amount of leaf: prob 2tsp. I kind of wish I hadn’t brewed so many teas at once – I can’t remember how long I steeped any of them! Should have written it down. Although now I remember – I set this one for two minutes, sniffed it, and decided to leave the basket in longer… and then forgot about it. My guess is that it was in there around 4-6 minutes, which is approximately the range suggested by DT, so hopefully I haven’t ruined it.

The dry tea just smells green and grassy. Maybe the slightest touch of floral, but I’m not sure. Steeped, it smells a bit buttery, a bit floral, and a lot OOLONG! Yes! This is what I want! Please please please taste like you smell.

The moment of truth….. and it’s exactly what I wanted! Oh man. This may only be a mediocre oolong for most people, but holy crap it is exactly what my taste buds were craving (I didn’t know this prior, but they’re currently immensely satisfied and pushing thoughts into my brain of brewing up a whole pot in spite of the row of tea-filled mugs crowding my nightstand). The taste is buttery and smooth, barely floral, and OOLONGINYOURFACE. Bahaha, “oolongin’”: a verb describing an intense desire to drink vast quanities of oolong tea, e.g. “I’m oolongin’ so hard today”. Nevermind me….

Anyhow, I’m not going to say that this is The Best Oolong In The World or anything, as I haven’t tried enough for that, but I’m definitely quite happy with it, and need to now compare it with my Teavivre samples… although I just realized that I only have the honey tieguanyin from them… And my Verdant samples. I think that while I may like the more expensive ones better, this will be fabulous for the cheap, western-style-frequent-drinking option, while I can save the others and truly experience them.

ETA: Second infusion, 94C/5min, definitely not as good, but starts off creamy and almost like more of a milk oolong, and finishes with oolong. A touch more astringency is perhaps the biggest difference. Perfectly good though, for cutting that oolongin’!

200 °F / 93 °C

LOL that was fun to read and I too am a total oolong fan! I love the word Oolongin!


haha oolongin!


oh hey I think I might steal that one. Oolongin! I do that allll the time…


Hahahaha, me too :P

Maxime-Daniel Friðrikson

One damn good Oolong! I miss it :)

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1163 tasting notes

I do like this one. It is a good quality iron goddess. It is buttery and slightly sweet with a hint of vegetal notes. Reminds me a little of thier Milk Oolong. I am really enjoying iron goddess teas lately.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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1355 tasting notes

Thank you Courtney for this sample.

This was just enough for one big cup of Oolong made with my Gongfu. The balls were much better quality than I was expecting, very green and fragrant with no sticks. Same quality I would expect from Teavivre.

During the long steep I can see the balls have opened out to reveal large leaves, some of which have white/yellow patches in the middle. Not sure if it’s spotting or something else, haven’t seen anything like it before.

Once steeped the tea is yellow in colour with a floral and vegetal (spinach) aroma. Very fresh yet darkly green.

Flavour is toasty, floral, fresh, spinachy, wooden and sweet. The perfect drink to accompany a hot evening.

A very nice example of Tie Kwan Yin and something that would be wonderful for every day drinking.
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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709 tasting notes

An explanation, first. I have tried a small number of flavoured oolongs but am not overly keen on them. Nothing wrong with them, but never my go-to tea. I have never really given unflavoured oolongs a try, though I did try a sip of the beau’s at Sawadee Tea House once (brewed Western style) but I mostly found it bitter and over-steeped. Tonight I brought out my gaiwan and my tiny cute double walled glass teacups to do “Western style Gong-fu” (I am not using flash rinses, but instead a sightly lower temperature for 1 minute or so). I don’t really know what to call it, but that’s what I think of!

Also, a note for poor Mercuryhime who sent me a couple of lovely looking oolongs to try – I wanted to cut my teeth on the relatively inexpensive and very available DT Tie Kwan Yin so I can (hopefully!) better appreciate the ones you sent. I WILL be trying them soon!

Initially, the dry leaves smell delicious and appealing, lightly sweet and floral, but mild (remember that I’m a dedicated black tea drinker!) First steep got 1 min or so and yielded a light greenish liquor, with a mild floral taste. As I told the beau, it reminds me of a blooming tea but not as strong in flavour. Likely a user error, but really nice nonetheless. The leaves unfolded a lot and are HUGE at this point, lovely full leaves. Stunning to watch.

Steep 2: Similar steep time/temp (I don’t use a thermometer or timer, hah!) Flavour is similar (sweet, lightly floral) but with a bit more strength. The liquor is a bit more yellow, and this too is a satisfying cuppa. I’m definitely not catching any nuances of flavour here, but there is definitely nothing objectionable. I am used to bold flavours, but for a lighter sort of tea, I have no problem drinking this. I know I’ve said it already, but this still reminds me of blooming teas I have tried. I presume it is the floral notes that I am being reminded of here.

Steep 3: Stepped up to boiling water, to see if it would add anything to the mix, really. I’m afraid that if I don’t I will just be drinking hot water. This steep came the closes to a hint of bitterness, but was really the same smooth sweet floral taste I’ve had all along. I’m out of time for today, might try some more tomorrow or might let it rest.

I’m gonna give this a rating of high 70s for now, likely to be adjusted when I have more experience in the field. This was a beautiful tea and experience, and I’m glad I gave it a shot. I didn’t experience any bitterness from this tea like I did with my bad experience Western style attempt many moons ago – Yay for potential oolong appreciation!


Ok, I admit I’m anxious to see what you think of the oolongs I sent, but I can wait. Take your time. :)

I tend to like my black teas bold as well, so I need to be in a certain mood for them. My default cravings lean towards lighter and more refreshing flavors. Lately, I’ve been really craving minty and desserty teas though. Anyways, oolongs can be an expensive habit. Just a warning. hehe

Maxime-Daniel Friðrikson

It’s a great Oolong tea to start with the Oolong family and most of all, it’s cheaper! You can also steep it 3 times with the same leaves. I personally love this one. Great review!

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318 tasting notes

Woke up this morning with a craving for oolong. Okay. I don’t have a ton, but I knew I had about half this sample kicking around in my sample box.

It was generally unremarkable. Not to say it was bad – it was just exactly what you’d expect from an oolong, fairly run-of-the-mill, not very exciting. It was smooth and creamy, a little bit buttery, some floral notes on later steeps.

All in all, a solid tea and a good start to the morning, just not one that I’d go out of my way to purchase.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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8255 tasting notes

Sipdown! I pretty much just decided to get through all my oolongs since then I can compare them and figure out what I like or don’t like about them, at least in terms of my sample oolongs. This one? It’s got that floral undertone that I don’t like….pretty much this is an average every day middle of the road oolong. I don’t outright hate it, I don’t love it.

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253 tasting notes

My 2-year-old daughter and I entered a local Valentine’s Day contest wherein we had to collaborate with another person on a Valentine’s card + poem. I let her colour the background with crayons, while I wrote a cheesy little love poem from a seahorse and then drew the seahorse on after she’d completed her part. We managed to win the “multi-age category”, which means I now have a $50 gift card to the downtown mall burning a hole in my pocket! Now, people have suggested that since my daughter helped with the Valentine, that she should get a little of the prize too… and I agree except she doesn’t really need anymore clothes, toys, or candy and I’d go with books, but there’s no bookstore in the mall.

There is, however, a DAVIDsTEA. And since my little girl seems to appreciate a good cuppa—especially if I’ve just made a tea latte—it seems like the perfect place to blow the money where we can both get something out of it.

Thus, we ventured in on Tuesday to peruse their selection and inquire about the upcoming Spring Collection (since I figured I might as well hold out til then if a bunch of new + exciting teas are on their way). The sales associate helping me didn’t divulge much other than there will be some fruity teas and then asked if she could help me with anything for now… and I ended up coming home with four small bags of Vanilla Orchid, Citron Oolong, Ginseng Oolong, and this tea… which I am drinking right now.

In an attempt to get the best out of this tea I am attempting a hybrid gaiwan/western style brewing… AKA: leaves in DAVIDsTEA steeper, 3 second wash, then short infusions thereafter…

First steep @ 92°C for 1 min: creamy, buttery greens, with the slightest hint of lingering sweetness. After the washing stage I wasn’t sure this had even brewed since the colour is so pale, but the flavour is definitely there, like a milk oolong without the milkiness.

Second steep @ 93°C for 80 sec: Slightly stronger in flavour, with more mineral-like notes coming through. Less vegetal.

Third steep @ 95°C for 1.5 min: Basically the same as the second and just as flavourful!

Fourth steep @ 96°C for 2 min: And… still flavourful! I could probably get a couple more steeps out of the leaves, but I’m starting to feel oolong-logged… so. much. tea.

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

<3 Little girls and tea! I can’t ’til mine can drink out of a cup!


Haha. Wow – did that comment get butchered. I just said that sounds like a great day. Also <3 little kids that drink tea. I can’t wait until mine can drink out of a cup.


And then starts drinking all your tea! Haha!


Haha. Guess I’ll just have to buy more? (That’s a good excuse to increase my tea budget, right?)


Hey, it’s healthier than juice! And you can drink it together too… yay, tea parties!

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1666 tasting notes

Meh. I second pretty much every tasting note here.
This is a nice standard green oolong. Very basic, nothing special. There are no odd hidden flavours or even ones that pop out and say “hi”!
Pretty much, it is what I expected and to be honest I can see myself needing this every once in awhile. This business of having fabulous teas all the time is a little dramatic and sometimes I just want a cup of simplicity. Well folks, this is about as tame as it gets!
but it is relatively smooth and vegetal. On the fourth steep, when it was hot, I got a surprising buttery note. and then the standard sweetness…
Overall, I’d buy it again but not before trying most of the other ones out there.

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704 tasting notes

1.5 tbsp for 375 ml

Milky sweetness. Orchid floral tone. Fresh-tasting. Hint of grapefruit oolong tone, especially in the aftertaste.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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1125 tasting notes

So I have drank this oolong many, many times, and haven’t yet wrote a review on it!! Well, no time like the present.

The dry leaf smell is very vegetal and fresh smelling. I steeped this for 5 mins, at around 95 degrees C. Wet leaf: mmmmmm, soo good. A toasty veggie smell with creaminess. I love the smell of this tea! The leaves get gigantic, almost overflow my steeping basket (I used 1.5 tsps). Lovely green leaves, pretty good for re-steeping too.

As for the taste, this tea is quite delicious. A very smooth cup, with underlying creaminess and a vegetal flavor. I don’t really get any of the floral that has previously been mentioned. Mostly just smooth, buttery flavor. Slightly reminiscent of DAVIDsTEA’s milk oolong, but not quite as buttery and creamy.

Overall, I quite enjoy this oolong. It’s pretty good for a pure oolong, but I must say, the milk oolong is still my favorite by DAVIDsTEA. But as this one is nicer on the pocketbook, I will definitely drink it again and again.

ETA: Resteeped, just as lovely, a bit more mellow and not as strong but the buttery flavor almost comes out more. Very enjoyable!!

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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