Monkey-Picked Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Astringent, Drying, Mineral, Honeysuckle, Melon, Sugarcane, Champagne, Floral, Orchid, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Bitter, Earth, Grass, Seaweed, Honey, Vegetal, Dry Grass, Sugar, Chestnut, Roasted Barley
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by sterling
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 11 oz / 315 ml

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146 Tasting Notes View all

From Teavana

As legend has it, Buddhist monks formulated this ancient top ten treasure. The monks trained monkeys to gather the youngest leaves from the tip-top of wild tea trees for this special Imperial Reserve blend. The secret lives on with the deft hand plucking of the unbroken, evenly sized leaves that unfurl to create the most complex yet light orchid aroma and highest grade of oolong in the world. IMPERIAL RESERVE

Smooth, bright orchid aroma throughout with clean refreshing finish

How to Prepare
Use 1 teaspoon of tea per 8oz of water. Heat water to 195-200 degrees and steep tea for 3-4 minutes. 2oz of tea equals 25-30 teaspoons.
Pure oolong tea.

About Teavana View company

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146 Tasting Notes

1598 tasting notes

This is a tasty oolong, but not one I’d re-stock from Teavana as it’s much cheaper elsewhere. (I’d probably try Teavivre instead!)

But, I thought I’d finish up this sample as it was nearly 6 months old, and it was an easy sipdown! (75!)


Thanks for Teavivre hint! My husband loves this stuff but I just can’t bring myself to pay that for it.


have you tried this tea from teavivre? if yes, how was it, is it as good or better?


To be honest, I can’t really remember. I do know that I generally like a lot of Teavivre’s teas, and that they have very reasonable prices/shipping costs. You could try a few samples from them for fairly cheap. Also, sometimes you can contact them and request samples so long as you do a review here afterwards!

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49 tasting notes

darkly wow


I’m sending you a PM!


oh dear, so sad. I hope you find another job soon, that involves tea!



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15147 tasting notes

sipdown! thank you tattooed_Tea for this sample. There are green oolongs i like, those that i wish i could and then ones like this that are just never going to happen for me. This doesn’t have that green “oolong” taste that i have a hard time with, but there is a whole lot of floral-ness to this one that i just can’t stomach. It’s a fairly vegetal oolong as well, with that grassy taste hanging out in the background as well. Oh well, at least it’s another to knock off my list. I’ll try a resteep of this later on as well as a cold brew just to see if that changes how i feel about it.

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421 tasting notes

It is important to note there is no way I can afford this tea. It would also lead to divorce between the Mr. and I in a heartbeat and at $25 per 2oz you may see why. So this is one of those teas I purchase by the cup when I visit my local Teavana. Of course the young man behind the counter tried his darndest to get me to buy a pound of it. It wasn’t happening.

I had this iced. I’d never had it before so I went with the young man’s suggestion of prep including sweetener or no sweetener. Thankfully he went with no sweetener. I must admit it was a supper smooth Oolong that I truly enjoyed. It hit the spot after a truly rotten day spent at an event I would have loved to pass on (long story there). I would get this again, but I wouldn’t buy it to make at home….not for that price….unless of course the Mr. ok’d it.


I totally understand not wanting to buy a bunch of it, being so expensive, but grabbing a cup to go at 6 bucks is so steep it’s almost worth it.


Wow my cup did not cost $6, I think it was more like $4…


Might be american pricing then? It’s like 4.99 or 5.99 or something for a cup of rare tea.


Where I live, in the midwestern U.S. it’s 4.99! $5.35 with tax around here. I do think it’s funny that so many people have NO problem paying $5 for a cup of fancy coffee, but when I (on the rare occasion) pay $5 for a cup of tea I get shit for it! The prices here go 2.99-3.99-4.99. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a $3 cup though most of them are in the $5 category! I think it would be way more worth it if Teavanas had a seating area, and would resteep your leaves for you once you pay for the cup. My local tea shop does that, although they don’t really advertise it. Come to think of it, some of the employees at the Teavana here would probably resteep for me. I’m just never at the mall long enough to bother with it.

I do try to stay away from buying cups of tea at Teavana. They purposely make them expensive because they would rather have you buy tons of it without trying it than make a measly $4 on a cup of tea! This especially applies to new customers who have only tried the teas in the samples that are super sweetened and made really, really strong! I would much rather put that $5 towards the cost of 2 oz. of tea. And in the holiday season I’m pretty sure they don’t even let you get just a cup of tea? So annoying for loyal customers who do decide they want to try before they buy!

There’s another reason why they don’t rotate their samples. Most places rotate their samples on a daily basis! Not Teavana! God forbid you sample all the teas without first paying a ridiculous sum of money. And they rarely do samples that aren’t a blend because they want you to buy both. I don’t know about you guys, but if I could sample unsweetened teas every day I would be there way more often and probably buy way more!!

Wow this comment was supposed to be one sentence, sorry… lol This is what happens when I’m half asleep!


No problem! I agree with many of your points…like offering different samples not pumped full of sweetener! Yes, if I’m spending maybe $5 on a tea I should have the option of a resteep, but they don’t have seating. I try not to go in anymore because i just get annoyed. I used to shop there when two sales associates still worked there who were all about customer service and not at all pushy.


They have pricing for single beverages that are high due to the fact that they are not a tea bar. They want to provide customers the opportunity to purchase a cup to see if they like it before they commit to buying the tea. It’s expensive because of it were only a couple dollars more people would buy it there instead of purchasing the loose leaf, and that is not Teavana’s agenda.
FYI: I’ve gotten 12 steepings from monkey picked oolong
Note: Teavana has rights to first crop of all the highest quality tea farms, therefore they provide the highest quality tea. This is why you can get more steepings from this oolong than you could from other loose leaf tea stores.

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3314 tasting notes

I tried this one again today when my oldest daughter and I went out of town to shop. It was buttery, buttery, buttery! The end of the sip is nutty. Overall, this is a clean and light oolong, not smoky, and really delicious. Unfortunately, it is overpriced.

As a side note, we went to Godiva to get our chocolate of the month and they had marzipan hearts. JacquelineM has spoken of her nostalgic love for it a few times so that was what I requested. My daughter said she had never tried it but on Gilmore Girls they both spit it out. The sales clerk gave me a “there, there” look and told me it was an acquired taste, and if I didn’t like it she would give me another piece of chocolate. I thought it was quite good. Thanks for the inadvertent recommendation, J! And I am glad that I can now say I have had marzipan!

The DJBooth

I agree it’s good but not worth the money


Mmm, marzipan is my fave. I could eat it non stop!


I agree too! Too expensive and marzipan is the best! : )

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300 tasting notes

It should not come as a surprise that I have drank this many many times, at work and as well as at home (though I have never actually purchased it except in the Forbidden Kingdom Collection when it was 50% off). I’ve sold plenty of it and for that I am sorry. However I have somehow not gotten around to reviewing it.

That being said, I’m going to try not to be too negative here. I did short steeps with this one today and I must say my gongfu was pretty good, for as little water as I was using the leaves got some good motion. The leaves didn’t give off much scent when dry and weren’t anything special wet, but my gods did that first cup smell good. It smelled like the High Mountain Alishan I had the other day and I just leaned back in my chair and let myself get lost in the vapors.

There. I have said something nice, unfortunately it’s the only thing I have to say. There was no sweetness to be found in this cup, no butter or creaminess in the ones to follow and hardly a trace of orchid. To be fair the leaves are probably quite old, but I have never found any of those qualities except the orchid notes in Teavana’s MPO.

The flavors on this are a bit hard to describe, they are rather vague, not particularly vegetal nor floral nor woodsy nor herbaceous but the second infusion was more savory. For a second I thought it was going to be buttery, but it was much to dry for that. Teavana describes this tea as smooth and while I wouldn’t call it astringent, the mouthfeel on this tea is probably the most disappointing part. I steeped this probably six times today and it didn’t produce anything else noteworthy.

I will mention that the leaves were more broken on this batch than I am used to seeing. Also the color is laughably dull compared to Verdant’s Spring Harvest Tieguanyin that I brewed right after it, verdant indeed! As others have said, Teavana’s MPO is not a bad tea, but it’s also not worth the price nor the hype and is certainly not “the rarest oolong in the world”. I had the exact same reaction as JubJubs when I read their newsletter a while ago.


It sound like you gave it your best shot, at least.

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323 tasting notes

I have to admit, one of the good things about being home is getting to raid my dad’s tea – my dad, who got tricked by the Teavana employees into buying lots of tea… XD
And, seeing as I can’t justify the price of this tea myself, I’m just drinking his! (he said I could. And he can drink whatever of mine he wants haha)

Smooth and a little flowery on a first steep, and then on a second steep, the butter comes out. It’s not my favorite. I don’t love it. But I will definitely drink it as long as its around!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

ha – you are lucky, my Dad gets his tea from Trader joe’s. :)


Trader Joe’s teas-better than Teavana’s? Do you raid your Dad’s stash? I want to share my Stash with the family, but they prefer storeshelf bagged tea BLLUHH!! Sorry, I gagged. My sisters like some of my good teas…….but they live out of state. :-||

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2816 tasting notes

I almost didn’t recognize this as a Tevana tea – where’s the pound of dehydrated fruit and spices that’s normally floating around in these things?

In any event I was looking for something this afternoon that was mild and easygoing and this certainly has fit the bill. A nice green oolong, very clean tasting, and vegetal. I am getting a bit of nutty flavor in the finish. A classic tea with a great taste. I would certainly consider purchasing this if I ever place another order with Teavana.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Did you do multiple steeps with this Oolong? I di with mine MP Oolong is usually a good one for that. SURE HOPE YOU DIDN’T GET SICK FROM THE CINNAMON TEA.


That’s “do with mine”, and what’s up with the caps?


3 steeps and yes, I was fine. thank you for your concern. I have a very sensitive tummy so it was just a bit too much for me.


FYI-I don’t know if it’ll show up in the dasboard, but I updated my H & S Hao Ya B review.

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297 tasting notes

Seems every Teavana review i read is about how pushy they were or how terrible their tea is. I’m not sure if my experience is better a- because my store use to be a Teaopia or b- I’m always in there when the manger, who happens to be a friend of mine is working. I’ve only ever had one employee get on my nerves and it really wasn’t that bad.

So onto my review. I’ve tried this in store once or twice because they usually have it as a sample. I was convinced I loved it & needed to buy it, but I couldn’t justify the $22/50g that they wanted. So thanks to Sara, I got to try this one before spending a fortune on it.

I swear in store in was better. Not quite as floral like & more buttery & earthy. Maybe for once I will do a second steep on my leaves.
This was good, however a little too floral for me. I had a hard time drinking my full mug, so this is something I would have to brew up for smaller cups.
I really don’t think I would spend the money on this one, but really am grateful to have tried it.
However we’ll see how steep 2 goes.

ETA: did my second steep on the leaves yesterday morning. basically tasted like I put orchids in a juicer & drank it. not one I will resteep

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Funny story about a Teavana employee (bless her heart, she was probably new), but I used the word “gaiwan” while she was trying to sell my friend and me some of their fine bone china lidded mugs (I forget exactly how I’d used it), and she immediately began saying how so much of the stuff in their store is kind of girly, so it can be hard to buy for a guy unless you know what he likes… I guess ‘cause she thought I’d said “guy one.” xD It was kind of hilarious.

And I have found that their Golden Monkey, while good, is just not quite my ideal oolong either.

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85 tasting notes

This green oolong goes down easy, as I find it pretty crisp and clean. It’s also pretty astringent. To enhance my willpower to work on my dissertation for the 7th day in a row (it’s like a sprinting marathon), I added some jasmine dragon phoenix pearls for a flowery touch. This blend is awesome, btw. I may never go back to drinking the monkey picked alone! Now, if I could just find those monkeys and bribe them to write my paper, I would be set!


good luck finding those monkeys!! just be careful they don’t form a union lol


I have a feeling that if I help them pick tea, that they will return the favor :)


haha, yes I suspect you are right!! and maybe throw in a few bananas

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