Taiwan Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Floral, Roasted, Sour, Sweet, Vegetal, Baked Bread, Dried Fruit, Honey, Fruity, Apple, Autumn Leaf Pile, Grain, Grass, Toasted Rice, Peach, Creamy, Nutty, Cream, Flowers
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Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 7 oz / 202 ml

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114 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I think this was my favorite tea of all the ones we drank today. I was still eating my peach dumplings when this one was poured and my first sip made me grrrrowl with happy tea pleasure. Wow,...” Read full tasting note
  • “Yet another of my free samples from Teavivre… thanks so much for the opportunity to try all these teas! I really consider Teavivre to have greatly contributed to my tea education with all of their...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thankyou Angel and Teavivre for this generous sample! I used 1.5 teaspoons Colour: yellow/amber Dry leaf smell: overwhelmingly like spinach…..I was pretty worried at this point because I don’t like...” Read full tasting note
  • “Seriously, who could resist trying a tea with this clever name? My latest round of samples arrived yesterday. (Yeah!) I did not intend to break into them this soon, but they were there. Well you...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Lishan, Taizhong, Taiwan

Ingredients: Evenly and tightly rolled tea leaves

Taste: Baked Taste with a smoothly and soft flavor

Brew: 2-3 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 212 ºF (100 ºC) for 1 to 3 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: The substance in the tea helps to prevent the decaying of teeth and halting the plaque build-up and also reduce the growth of glucosyltransferase. Monkey Picked Tie Guanyin contains lots of vitamins. Vitamin A can prevent from scurvy; Vitamin B can help digestion; Vitamin C can enhance immunity; Vitamin E can resist aging. As the saying goes that rarity enhances value, you will benefit a lot from drinking a cup of it every day.

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114 Tasting Notes

201 tasting notes

I always know that a treat is coming when I reach for a Teavivre tea. Even when the tea isn’t of one of my preferred types, I consistently admire Teavivre’s rendition of it.

Oolong is one of those types that I don’t pursue or drink often, but I’m always willing to entertain new attempts to make me a fan.

I love the title of this tea. Is it really picked by monkeys? Do monkeys drink tea or eat it? Those are questions that will have to be answered another time. Now, on to my sampling of this tea…

I steeped this tea at 212 degrees for three minutes as Teavivre suggested. The brewed beverage was a light greenish yellow in color.

Brewed and unbrewed, the aroma was grassy and similar to some milder green teas that I tried.

The taste of this tea was sweet, grassy, and fresh. The flavor was very light and smooth, yet full. There was no bitterness and it seemed to go down my throat extremely easily. In fact, I had to restrain myself from chugging it a few times. It is one of those teas that I ENJOYED drinking.

This is simply another perfect tasty tea from Teavivre. I’m not sure if I’m an Oolong fan yet, but I am DEFINITELY a fan of THIS Oolong tea.

In case you are wondering about all of my glowing reviews of Teavivre teas, I need to specify that I am not affiliated with Teavivre in any manner. I am not obligated to write tasting notes (positive or negative) about these teas. I’m also not compensated for my Teavivre tea tasting notes whatsoever, other than the prior receipt of these wonderful samples for which I am extremely grateful.

I personally consider all of Teavivre’s teas to be among the top of the best that I’ve tried during my 10 months as a Steepster. The Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea has only reinforced my assessment!

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Enjoying their wonderful teas is compensation enough! Lol


You’ve got that right, tigress_al! All of their teas are incredible!


Stoo, don’t stress, we all are getting the tea from them and love their tea. It is good. We are honest about our reviews and you are honest too! You can tell a phony!


Thanks, Bonnie. You are right. All of my reviews come from the heart…or is it the mouth? ;-)

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437 tasting notes

I admit that this tea falls in between my usually preferences for floral biting Oolong’s, or rich fruity spicy darker roasted Oolong’s but it is still quite nice. It is very sweet with notes ranging from honey to melted sugar and has a very nice pistachio nut note that blends with toast. There are also a clover nectar and floral note, cinnamon and several herbal notes mixed with a light dose of fruit, sweet and bitter vegetal notes and mineral notes. This tea is not as resilient as the last tea I sampled, however I still got 10 steeps out of it. I probably would have preferred it if it was slightly more oxidised, but this is just my preference.

The dry leaf smells of toast, clover, hints of sweet stone fruit, and cream. They are dark olive to spruce green in colour and are rolled to a medium, size loose ball with obvious stems.

1.5 TSP in a 140 ml gaiwan

20s scent, toast, strong vegetal note, like a cross between, Swiss chard, asparagus, and clover, clover nectar, slightly nutty approaching raw pistachio, honey, hints of peach and ripe mango.

Creamy on tongue with vegetal notes up front, dissipated through a note of toast honey, nut and floral notes and a thin hint of fruit. Sweet lingering aftertaste of honey. Floral note is all clover, repeat with spices. Colour medium light translucent amber. Thick creamy texture.

25s clover spice and very sweet honey notes moved to the forefront. Honey remains a constant note but clover dissolves into cinnamon, toast, and sweet vegetal notes, hints of apricot. Lingering aftertaste of cinnamon and honey, with hints of clover.

30s feeling of dissolved sugar in the tea and a tingling on the roof of the mouth. Broth is less creamy it has a rougher texture in the mouth. Sugar, toast, pistachio, clover, cinnamon.

35s honey cinnamon, toast and nuts up front, a herbal note that has hints of thyme and original mixed with clover, honey, sweet veg, cream. Herbal tone that is al!most menthol, honey, nuts and sweet veg in the aftertaste.

45s. Weakening sweetness, hay and herbaceous, herbal notes up front, mineral notes, nuts, honey, cream and cinnamon.

65s. Spice, cream, weakening clover honey, sweet mixed with slightly bitter vegetal notes. Nuts , honey and clover in the aftertaste.

90s, clover, honey, cinnamon, very light bitter vegetal, nuts, mineral note.

130s artichoke, honey, clover, cinnamon
Mineral note.

180s artichoke, cream, honey, clover, bitter greens.

Cinnamon and clover in aftertaste.

300s artichoke, honey, bitter greens.
Thanks again to Teavivre for the opportunity to sample this tea* It was a pleasant accompaniment to my evening.


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64 tasting notes

Thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!

I really wanted to love this one, but it’s just not happening. I mean, it’s nice to sip on when I’m not thinking about it, but it’s not the delicious tieguanyin I’m used to. I understand this is a Taiwan version, but I’ve had jin xuans that taste more like tieguanyin than this tea. This tastes much more like mao xie (hairy crab) oolong than tieguanyin, actually. The sweet, potent florals of tieguanyin are pretty dull in this tea, and the added roasting just adds awkward charcoal flavors that make the taste seem unbalanced and somewhat stale. It’s really strong for the first couple steeps, too. I have to make the wash extra long just so I don’t have overbearing burnt barley and metallic flavors in the first steep.

The leaves and liquor have aromas that smell like roasted wheat and unripe fruits, mixed with some cooked vegetables and lots of grass. Actually, most of the steeps have a very grassy profile. Into the later steeps, things improve a bit with notes of asparagus and genmaicha, finally landing on some really vegetal qualities of tiequanyin. There isn’t much sweetness to this one, which seems to contribute a great deal to the unbalance of flavors. There are a few faint traces of melon, as well, and after sneaking a few peaks at some reviews of this tea, I agree with KS about the aftertaste seeming a bit like watermelon rinds. It’s interesting, but not the most satisfying.

The mouthfeel is common and uninteresting. It typically gets a bit creamy and slightly juicy during middle steeps, but it isn’t anything extraordinary. Most of the steeps end up being a bit dry.

Overall, this one is just “okay” to me. Nothing jumped out at me and the unbalance of flavors really threw things askew. I dunno, it just did not match up to all the other oolongs that I have tried.

Based on the conversation with KS below, I tried this again with a method closer to the suggested style: 4g per 100mL at boiling, wash, 25",35",45". I’m not sure if it’s that much better, but it is different. I’m also not sure which I prefer, flavor-wise. There are definitely some new blends of flavors. There are more fruity nuances, it’s surprisingly sweeter, and isn’t as bitter as I was expecting for such a high leaf to water ratio. It certainly is more bitter this way, however. With these added dimensions, it feels a bit more balanced, but the body becomes more monotonous. I still can’t get past the charcoal flavors, which are even more potent. Now that this is more severe with this session, I’m now recalling that every time I’ve tried this tea, it’s given me a headache. :/ Sigh, this just isn’t happening, folks.

200 °F / 93 °C

Good notes on this one. After reading your review, I went back and read mine,then all the others. The reactions are all over the place. I noticed a lot of difference in steeping parameters. Of course there is also varying amounts of experience. I am a total nube at monkey picked.

I was curious your leaf to water ratio and your typical steep times. From your profile I am guessing you used a gaiwan? I have tried to understand the gaiwan method but have never liked the results. Yet you often get some amazing results.

I typically would use 2.5g with 12oz water in a French press. The time and temp I would have followed TeaVivre’s instruction.


Hi KS, I’ve tried this one using multiple methods, which is why this was the last of the samples from Teavivre that I logged. I usually prepare it gong fu style in a 100 mL gaiwan with around 2-3 grams of dry leaf. I do about a 3 second wash and my first steep is around 4 seconds.

I’ve tried this with many variations in water temperature as well. I think boiling, as Teavivre recommends, is too hot for this tea. The times I went straight to boiling during the first steeps caused them to turn pretty bitter if they steeped too long. I can’t imagine what the 7g per 3oz for 25 seconds at boiling (Teavivre’s gong fu instructions) would do… I still have some of the sample left, so I’ll experiment with your method and Teavivre’s method.


I had the advantage of no expectations of what this should taste like and the thrill of a new adventure. So I loved it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I hope it doesn’t come off as me challenging or argueing with your comments. I am trying to understand if the parameters could have affected the experience. Apparently not.

I do the same thing you did, with other teas, when following the instructions doesn’t produce a good cup. Changing time, temp, or leaf to water just a little does usually make a difference. I just don’t have enough experience yet to anticipate what change will bring the best result. I have found, for me personally, Teavivre’s instruction have been pretty spot on even when it seemed all wrong. In fact, I often use their instructions on other companies similar products.

From what I am reading here, you did experiment and no matter how you approached it, this tea simply did not meet your expectations. That is fair enough. I do enjoy your reviews because they make me think. Thanks for letting me pick your brain, in a non-zombie way of course.


No, you didn’t come off that way at all! I was hoping someone was going to chat about their methods; it seems like everyone but myself absolutely loved this tea and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy lol. It’s a shame I couldn’t try this one without any expectations as I’m sure it would have made a difference. I think it comes down to that roast. I find that when lighter teas are given the extra roasting and it doesn’t integrate perfectly, it’s a pretty big turn off for me. I’m sure that’s part of the reason I’m not as happy with this tea as others seem to be. I’ll play around with different methods tonight and let you know how it goes. I’m not giving up yet!


I felt the same way about black fengqing dragon pearls. I liked it but seemed like I was missing out reading everyone else’s reviews. I tried several times and just didn’t get it.

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1812 tasting notes

As is my custom with many oolongs, I chose to utilize a gaiwan in the tasting of this tea. Something about the methodical pouring of dry leaves, rinsing them, watching them begin to expand, and putting them through multiple steepings of gong fu-style brewing is, in a way, calming. The rinsing reveals that this tea is quite nutty and perhaps a bit fruity in aroma. I eagerly begin the steeping.

A pale yellow liqueur results from the first infusion. The smell is very intensely oolong. For a first, short steeping, I am actually surprised, pleasantly so. The flavor is developing, but more than just a week infusion. It has body and character – that much I can already see. The nuttiness, which I had detected in the smell from the freshly-rinsed leaves, shines through the flavor a bit. as well. I turn on some music that is completely at odds with tea tasting (electro house), and I somehow find it conforming to my tea session.

The second steeping I find to be nutty, creamy, and well-rounded in flavor. The color remains the same, and the leaves have opened wide. The smell is smooth and very aromatic.

In the third steeping, the most flavor thusfar reaches my tongue. It would seem as though the flavor truly has gotten bolder over the course of this steeping. The slightest hint of vegetal leanings is present, but really takes a backseat to the other delicious flavors. I am certain that this tea has a few more steepings in it, and it makes for a really nice tie guan yin that is worth tasting. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate it a 90/100.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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328 tasting notes

Tea sample provided by Teavivre for review

With the first sip, the tea liquor fills my mouth with a wonderful texture. I can smell the roasted tea off the liquor and taste it with each sip too. I also enjoyed the light floral and sweet characteristics of this cup.

The roasted flavour became bolder in the second steep. I would prefer if the cup tasted a bit more complete or velvety, but overall the second steep is pleasant to drink.

Third steep continued to maintain the flavour of the second cup. Somehow whenever I take a sip there is a flavour that doesn’t seem right. I don’t know how to describe it, perhaps it is the degree of roasted.

On the fourth steep I am tasting the roasted flavour more than anything else. The “oolong”, floral, sweet flavours are still there but have become more subtle.

Fifth and sixth steeps continued to wind down. Not the most memorable flavour, but still enjoyable. If I were to short steep this tea again, I would stop on the fourth steep.

Overall I enjoyed the sample. Personally, I prefer roasted oolongs, and this one met my expectations. Between this and Teavivre’s regular TGY, I prefer this one. But compared to other roasted oolongs it is not one of my favorites. That being said, it is a good cup of tea. I can imagine that a roasted tea like this is even better experienced in winter.

100ml gaiwan, 1.5tsp, 6 steeps (rinse, 45s, 45s, 1m, 1m15s, 1m30s, 2m)

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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124 tasting notes

Wow, I think I just bit into a chrysanthemum! Everyone talks about how they get a floral taste from oolongs and I usually get a strong butter flavor.
This though… wow serious flowers. And super interesting to me is that afterwards I do get a butter flavor but with a neat salt aftertaste. Surprising finish, really nice.
If I judged this by the initial flavor I would be kind of meh about it, but the twist, like the end of an Agatha Christie mystery is just too neat to ignore.
Thanks for the sample Teavivre! This one is a fun one :)

200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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103 tasting notes

This is my first tea in over 24 hrs :)
I had minor surgery yesterday so was not allowed to eat or drink all day :(
I chose this nice roasty tasting tea for my first tea in the morning because I didn’t want anything that I was tempted to add milk to (had post anesthetic nausea and surgery was late so this is my first liquid since coming out from surgery) I am off for the week so I will have plenty of time to drink lots of tea.
Sorry getting totally off on a tangent so back to this tea. Toasty oolongs are one of my favourite teas and this is no different. Just sipping on my first infusion now…so good!


wishing you a speedy recovery!

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541 tasting notes

I’m so happy so far with my finals results! I even got 100% on my presentation last night and I’m not one for public speaking; so that was a miracle!
This tea was another of Teavivre’s generous samples. Unfortunately, my lid fell into my cup when I was poring so some leaves got more steeped than others. This steep reminds me mostly of deep greens like spinach. It is just a bit sweet. There is also a back flavor of a bit of barley like baked-ness that reminds me of Rishi’s Tie Guan Yin. The major difference between the two is that this one exhibits more creamy flavors than the Rishi version.


Woo-hoo to you. Such a relief to get finals overwith!


Oh I’m so excited because I don’t actually have any tests this semester. It was all presentations and papers so I don’t even have to go next week! >:)

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3160 tasting notes

I think my tea preferences have changed… I’m surprised I only have this rated at 67! I really enjoyed it yesterday in spite of the fact that the package is probably getting close to 3 years old, and has been open pretty much the whole time (sealed as much as possible with a clip). This is a lovely oolong, with the roasty notes I crave from aged tieguanyins, and lots of creaminess, with a bit of that characteristic oolong “green” note (not vegetal, more paint thinner? In the best way possible.), and a minimum of floral. Upping the rating for sure, since this and roasty dancongs are my preferences now. May make a Teavivre order for my mom to share with people… and I think I’d include this.

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746 tasting notes

I had this a little earlier today. The leaves are dark and green, and smell vegetal and green. Very fresh, really. Brewed, this is not quite a dark oolong, yet it seems to have more body than a lighter green one. It has nice earthy toasted tones; not too bitter. The leaves are a bit veiny as well, once brewed, and you can see them open up wit multiple infusions…they get bigger and bigger. My third infusion was a little milder, but that is mainly because my water was not as hot. Overall, this is a nice oolong. Very balanced. Many thanks to Angel at Teavivre for including this sample in my last batch. I have a few more teas to get through, including one more oolong, a white, and a green.

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