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

  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note
  • “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...” Read full tasting note


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.

About DAVIDsTEA View company

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61 Tasting Notes

570 tasting notes

First trial of my new gaiwan. I now know why people use gaiwans on some kind of tea board – this is a messy process! But very soothing. The tie kwan yin is holding up wonderfully to the multiple steepings, each time releasing a bit more of the light floweriness that I love about oolongs. Used up the last of my stash for this; maybe it’s time for a restock.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

I bought a tea tray mostly because I think they’re pretty, but gaiwans can be a bit sloppy! Where did you get yours?


I bought the gaiwan at Say Tea on Bloor, which is our new favourite tea shoppe. Don’t have a tray or board for it yet, though. Just have a pile of paper towel on the counter, but I’m starting to get the hang out of the pour – only took me six steeps!


Too true! I can now pour my gaiwan with minimal/no spillage (though I frequently burn my fingers) but I wish I had a tea tray.

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60 tasting notes

Phew. I haven’t posted anything in such a long while, so I thought I’d get back in to making Tasting Notes. I do have all of the 12 Days of Christmas teas to review, and I do now have babysitting money with which to buy teas (WAHOO) and come my birthday (March the fifth, if you’re curious) I will definitely have some teas to trade or some Davids cards for buying tea. Really, my lack of tea notes over the last year or so has been because a) I don’t have ordering anything-I-want-online capabilities, b) I grow, and clothes are still a higher priority than tea, and b) I was away for the summer, guys, at camp, where i had to speak spanish, and I’m pretty sure that if I’d brought tea they would’ve confiscated it anyway.

So here I am. With this Tie Kwan Yin. I really like straight Oolongs, and am still divided on flavored oolong; I think I just like straight oolong too much for flavoring. Last week, I went into Davids with the above babysitting money to purchase the Guangzhou Milk Oolong, which is my fave thing ever. I haven’t had a significant amount of Oolong in my house for a while, so I was rather excited. However, upon entering the store, i found I DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY. So I bought this. Which isn’t an altogether bad thing.

I do like this tea a lot, and I’ve had it multiple times over the long weekend. I steep it for about five minutes. It’s grassy and floral and sweet. Simultaneously. Wow. I always fall for the smell of Oolong, and this one is no exception. It’s really a rather nice, not-too-pricy oolong. Although it’s definitely not as good as the milk oolong, I wholly enjoy having this in my cabinet.

5 min, 15 sec

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25 tasting notes


A semi-high quality organic Tie Kwan Yin.
A nice slight hint of honey on the nose.
Gently grassy and floral with a clean tangy finish.
All the qualities of a good ‘Iron Goddess’ are here…
I don’t think I would classify it as Monkey Picked quality, but it’s very close.

My Ratings…
★ = Didn’t Hate It.
★★ = Not Bad.
★★★ = Me Likey.
★★★★ = Impressive!
★★★★★ = AwesomeSauce!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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582 tasting notes

1.5 tsp for 250mL water @85C, steeped four minutes, drunk bare. (I prefer many oolongs at 90C, but I followed the packet instructions)

I am greedy with oolong and steep it Western style. I don’t often rinse it, either.

So the only place left in my little city for tea is DavidsTea, and I notice both their tea quality seems to be going down over the last year. For example, they’ve gone to a flavoured oolong for their Quangzhou Oolong, adding milk flavour to oolong leaves instead of using the real thing (and you can totally tell), and heaping the artificial flavours into the Long Life Oolong (what once smelled f peaches now smells of apple cider vinegar, just NASTY). Their tieguanyin, or Tie Kwan Yin as they transliterate it, surely, I thought, must still be okay.

It is. Okay. An acceptable tieguanyin but nothing special.

“Oolong tea from Nantou, Taiwan,” reads the package, At least there’s no “natural” flavours added.

The tea clerk corrected my pronunciation of tieguanyin when I asked for some. Even if I was wrong, and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t, I’m not sure that saying “Oh, you mean the tye-kwaahn-yeen?” is the best way to handle the question.


Oh that’s just nasty. He obviously needs some sales training. Customer is always right!

Michelle Butler Hallett

Add to that I have to keep pointing out to the clerks there just where the straight teas are …

—May I have 50grams of [staight tea]?
—Uh I don’t think we carry that.
—Right there, between the Pineapple Mint Chocolate Mate-Oolong with Rooibos and the Lavender White Cocoa Shells with Cayenne Parrot Beak Green.

Michelle Butler Hallett

To be fair: Stash also surprise me sometimes with their inventive blends, and blends are great. I just find my local DavidsTea is not as strong on knowledge of straight teas as they could be.

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440 tasting notes

More and more I’m becoming a big fan of oolongs. They surprised me since I hadn’t really had many, but the more I try, the more I am definitely willing to try more. If anything, I’m finding I prefer the straight oolongs to the flavoured, something that is extremely rare for me in teas. So long live the oolongs, as they have captured this tea drinker’s heart.

This one was delightful on first sip. I totally could have sat and drank the entire cup without adding anything, but just to try it I tossed in a bit of sugar. It totally changed the flavour, to something equally delightful. Unfortunately, horrible creature that I am, I fell asleep halfway through the cup. Lazy Saturdays are great until they become too lazy!!

I woke up a couple hours later to an extremely cold cup of tea, but instinctively I grabbed and sipped. And wow, even hours later and ice cold it was lovely! Definitely getting more of this one!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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60 tasting notes

2 teaspoons, steeped for three minutes in an 8 oz mug. a very gentle taste. it’s not a tea i’d drink often, but if someone wants a tea conducive to the creation of a calm environment, this is a good choice. it’s light & therefore makes for a good after dinner tea, especially if you’ve eaten a big meal (such as i did tonight: roast beef).

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72 tasting notes

This one was a gift, so not a tea I would normally choose myself…

First impression – Dry leaf different than the bundled little rolls that I so enjoy. Almost looks like the leaves were chewed on a bit, mushed into a compressed little shape and then left to dry. But in a nice way. The smell is rather strong and vegetal, not the kind of tea that makes me want to stick my nose in the bag and inhale for days.

Once steeped, the smell is a lot stronger and doesn’t captivate me, but : the liquor is the most amazingly beautiful pale pale lime green! (There is now a strong war going on between this and Mother’s Little Helper in terms of prettiest tea in my clear mug. ) The unfurled leaves are wonderful and make me want to be a photographer.

Flavour First steep, nude, and with no expectations, this tea has as strong a flavour as its smell. Fairly astringent, light-medium bodied and vegetal, Tie Kwan Yin is nice, but a tad too… something for me to fully enjoy. I’m left searching for the floral notes that are mentioned everywhere.

Loveability I’ll see how this one feels in the next two steeps, and I’ll try playing around with a touch of sweetness, but I don’t this is a tea I would ever crave or buy again. Would be a pleasant “company” tea, though.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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658 tasting notes

To-go, courtesy of the $1 “straight tea” promotion. I was really wanting some kukicha but they didn’t have any, so I went with this as a mellow alternative, and it served me well.

This is a tasty but not remarkable Tie Kwan Yin. Sweet, floral, but a bit subdued. I wasn’t sure about the T-sac in a cup situation for an Oolng so I think it performed really well under the circumstances. I left it in longer than intended and there wasn’t even a touch of bitterness.

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749 tasting notes

Another unflavoured oolong to measure up against my Tung Ting Vietnam. Since oolong is actually from China and not Vietnam I decided I had to try this one out (and Quangzhou Milk oolong the other day).

Pretty good I must say, but I’m getting a more floral taste. Overall a great tea, but I prefer the Tung Ting Vietnam.

4 min, 0 sec

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4 tasting notes

I have never tasted an oolong before, but this seemed like a good starter. The leaves are a bright green and have a deep smell. After brewing it’s smell was very buttery and, though I might be crazy, reminded me of my French bread dough right before I pop it in the oven. My roomie assures me I am crazy and it has a floral smell, reminding her of lantana flowers. Her nose is probably better than mine. It is a very light color but the taste was pronounced, mostly it tasted like it smelled.
The second steep I did not use an infuser, because it looked like my basket was to small for the leaves. I think it was for the best, because the tea expanded quite a bit more, and the liquid was darker when poured. It tasted about the same, but with more spinach-y flavors to it.
The third steep had the most vegetal taste. I found all three steeps to be very flavorful, and thought this tea was a great intro into oolongs.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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