Monkey-Picked Oolong

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Bitter, Earth, Smoke, Sweet, Floral, Orchid, Smooth, Grass, Seaweed, Honey, Melon, Vegetal, Dry Grass, Sugar, Chestnut, Roasted Barley
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by sherapop
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 11 oz / 326 ml

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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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144 Tasting Notes

6770 tasting notes

Thank you LiberTEAs for this one! :)

It is a pretty average monkey-picked oolong. Smells slightly floral and tastes a little sweet. It’s a nice medium strength taste from start to finish.

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31 tasting notes

In my opinion, Ti Kuan Yin is the tea people usually first think about when they hear “oolong” (pertaining to the green side of oolongs of course). I was given a bag of this for my birthday, and was happy with it.

This is a “less expensive” oolong, compared to other Iron Goddesses. It is a nice place for a beginner on oolongs who want to try Ti Kuan Yin. If you want Ti Kuan Yin but are a bit on a budget, this is a nice option if you do not have any local Chinese tea houses around you.

I brewed this in a prewarmed gaiwan. My ritual with oolongs, are one minute ascending brews. You can brew this at two minute ascending, if you wish. I discovered that you can skip the wash on this tea, as it only draws two (three is pushing it) cups before it starts loosing it’s complex body, but it still may lead into a fifth cup sometimes. Overall, this is an enjoyable cup, it has a flowery aroma that speaks in its’ pale-yellow green liquor. It is sweet, semi-deep with a very subtle vegetable note. Very smooth take and finish leaving you with an enjoyable aftertaste.

If you want a better quality Ti Kuan Yin, to draw out more cups, I suggest your local Chinese tea vendor, commonly by the Asian supermarket that happens to be in any average American town. Online tea vendors I suggest Red Blossom Tea Co. or Zhi Tea’s Iron Godess of Mercy (a bit deeper in it’s taste). If you like Ti Kuan Yin, try a roasted one! They are very delicious, and the better quality ones are usually Chinese and not Formosas.

Like other reviewers, Formosas are usually the champ, but Chinese oolongs, tend to have a more traditional make and process, some Formosas are also slightly flavored, so beware! To end this is a well rounded average TKY, there are other viable TKY’s that would score higher for me.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec

I love Ti Kuan Yin, so this review is very helpful to me. Thanks!

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13 tasting notes

Utterly expensive at $25 for 2 ounces. All the same, I tend to think of this one as my treat during a trip to Teavana. Since this is usually one of the teas that Teavana has available to try for free in ridiculously small cups, I tend to create quite the line behind me as I take my sweet time sipping down the drink. Spending $25 for something I consider a delicacy really isn’t too bad once in a while. The tea is delicious and I can almost feel it warming me from the inside out.

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45 tasting notes

Like walking through a flower garden on a sunny afternoon.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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635 tasting notes

I stopped by Teavana in the mall today on my way to GameStop to buy another Sims 3 expansion. Finally, they’re releasing Pets!!! I can’t wait! And it’s going to have horses!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!

But anyway, I need to concentrate my excitement on tea now. I tried a handful of different samples they had out, most of them iced. As usual, I found them either too sweet, too watered down, or just otherwise not very enjoyable. But then they gave me a sample of this.

Finally, a great tea from Teavana that tastes like real tea should! This actually tasted really familiar. Before I could draw the connection, I almost walked out with a couple ounces of this. But something told me to hold off. Boy, am I glad I did!

This is a Ti Kuan Yin tea. A few days ago, I tried Life in Teacup’s Tie Guan Yin. They are quite similar indeed but have substantial differences.

The biggest difference is the price. Teavana’s is a whopping $12.50 per ounce, while Life in Teacup’s version is only $2.70 per ounce! That’s right, an incredible $10 per ounce difference!!! I couldn’t believe it myself and double checked the prices several times. How is this even possible?

But even when I compare taste, it’s a bit of a surprise. Honestly, Life in Teacup’s tastes better to me. It has more complexity, a more buttery mouthfeel, and an overall richer taste. I’ve only had the Moneky-Picked Oolong in the store so I couldn’t compare this, but Life in Teacup’s held up to multiple infusions better than any other tea I’ve had. This is a no-brainer.

Plus, I feel good supporting a smaller company like Life in Teacup. They state on their site that they don’t have money to spend on tons of marketing and advertisements. They let the tea sell itself and entice new customers with three free samples per online order!

Does Monkey-Picked Oolong taste good? Sure. Is it worth the money? Pretty much. But is there a cheaper, tastier alternative? Yep!

So, here’s the big question: which would you rather drink?

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11 tasting notes

I purchased this tea last night for $25 for 2ounces, and brewed it last night. I must say this is the best tea I have ever had. For an Oolong Tea, this is really high quality and craftsmanship. I find Oolongs to be very bitter, but this tea really highlights what an Oolong tea should taste like. When I first brewed it, it was so light in color, and I could smell the richness and the baseness of it. When I tasted it, it was heaven. You get that basic Oolong tasted of smokiness, but it so light that you pick up the floral notes that were hiding. That bright flavor really brings out the sweetness for this Oolong. I have been waiting years to get up the guts to buy this tea (mostly for the name), and now I don’t know why I didn’t buy it earlier. I recommend this tea to anyone, it is a must have in your cupboards!

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25 tasting notes

Yum! Back into the Tea game! I decided to go for this sample that I’ve had sitting around. I wanted something that I can just throw in my Aladdin tumbler and resteep a few times.

I steeped this one for about 4 minutes at 190. 1.5 tsp per 12 oz.

This tea is a little too earthy for my liking, but it is not too overpowering. I am hoping with the next steeps it will be less earthy. It was a nice change of pace, however, compared to the black teas I usually drink. I for sure wouldn’t pay 20 dollars for 2 oz of this stuff. This is super overpriced!

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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17 tasting notes

Prepared with some raw sugar and boiling water, I must say that considering the extravagant price tag I’m not overly impressed. It’s not bad, but there’s nothing overly remarkable either. It’s smooth and green-tasting. I just really don’t care for green teas is what it comes down to, I suppose.


You’re not supposed to sweeten oolong…


Well see, I didn’t know that. =) Honestly, the sugar was what made it palatable to me. I’ll probably try another cup (and this time I’ll leave out the sweetener!) but I don’t see this being a favorite of mine either way.


If you’re used to drinking flavored teas, oolong is probably not for you. The natural flavors of oolongs are very subtle and could be floral, buttery, creamy, etc.

Though I honestly have not been impressed with Teavana’s oolongs. They lack a lot of the layered flavor notes I come to expect from oolongs. Not to mention they are overpriced as heck.

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124 tasting notes

I really enjoy this tea, but I just can’t afford it. A Teavana employee convinced me to buy it (I’m such a sucker… but at least I bought only the smallest amount possible) by saying it could be steeped 4-5 times and still taste great. However, appropriately air drying the leaves is a challenge for me so when I would have this I’d just have multiple cups in quick succession. The first cup was always delicious, and cups 2-4 tasted about the same (but sadly, they lost what made it great the first time. I don’t know how to describe the taste). I got in the habit of steeping 3 times and then tossing the leaves, and usually I would have it three times out of obligation to make it “worth the money” and not because I was really in the mood to drink 42oz of tea.

So while this is quite enjoyable, it’s just too expensive for me and its “re-steepability” is more of a headache (done only to justify the cost) than a bonus.


I really want to try this because I’m a bit of an oolong hoar. Can you include some when we swap, please?

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6 tasting notes

Best rebrewing tea. My taste buds aren’t specific, but they are picky. Hands down my favorite tea and I can rebrew it over and over.

Started at 9am, refilled four times, tea sat in a tea bag, but by the fourth brew I busted it open and let the leaves flourish more. Almost positive I will get another solid brew or two after class and its almost 5pm.

7 min, 45 sec

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