Taiwan Ginseng (Lan Gui Ren) Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Medicinal, Sweet, Vegetal, Menthol, Grass, Lettuce, Mineral
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
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205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 9 g 9 oz / 272 ml

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86 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Hubby and I drank a whole lot of steeps of this tonight. A single teaspoon in my little glass pot and over a liter of water, and it just kept giving with each resteep. We are drinking this...” Read full tasting note
  • “Revisiting this one after quite some time. For some reason, I have developed a strong liking to Ginseng Oolong. Maybe, it’s because my taste are still developing. It’s possible, this development is...” Read full tasting note
  • “Another Teavivre tea for me! This tea is really great for when I’m not feeling my best. It has a lot of sweet and roasted notes. It is super easy to make, so I can ask my husband to prepare it for...” Read full tasting note
  • “I woke up very bleary this morning, unexpectedly, and actually drank coffee for the first time in a long time. But as late morning begins to drag on towards lunch, it is time to settle into...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Lugu Township, Nan Tou County, Taiwan

Ingredients: Si Chi Chun (Four Season Oolong)

Taste: Clear and fresh aroma and rich fluid under tongue, sweet and fresh flavor, strong aftertaste

Brew: 1-2 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 212ºF (100 ºC) for 1 to 2 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. Being lightly fermented, these teas are high amino acids, vitamins, polyphenols and antioxidants. These combine into a tea that reduces cholesterol and helps reduce hardening of the arteries, and so can help reduce risks of heart attacks.

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86 Tasting Notes

2189 tasting notes

I feel bad because I have had this free sample for review from Teavivre for forever, but I hadn’t ever gotten around to it. Partly because I don’t know how I feel about ginseng. Yesterday I thought of it because I happened to see something that said ginseng is good for a cold, and I seem to have the sniffly beginning stages of one. I portioned it out into my ru kiln pot based on proportions listed on Teavivre’s website, which ended up being about 3 perfect teaspoons (4.5 actual tsp) for my 6oz pot. Then a million things came up, and I never ended up brewing it yesterday. So it was waiting for me this morning!

When I smell the dry leaf right off the bat, it kind of smells green and oolongy, a bit vegetal. But if I blow into the pot with the leaf and smell the air that is released, woah. Very savory and brothy, with a bit of toastiness. For some reason it is appealing to me even though I wouldn’t normally be into that aroma profile.

I did a quick rinse, then a perhaps 5 second steep. And now I feel even worse that I never got around to this tea because I am finding it delicious. It’s kind of light a lightly roasted tieguanyin at first, but then this sweet-savory flavor comes out. It is a bit bready, and I like Bonnie’s suggestion of sesame. The aftertaste is so incredibly sweet, it’s like sesame candy. I didn’t want this steep to be over!

The liquor from the second steep (about 10 seconds) is much darker, kind of a yellowy-orange with a hint of green. This one is more vegetal, though as it cools a bit the sesame sweetness of the ginseng definitely makes itself known. The mouth-coating sweet is kind of amazing, and it would probably be awesome on a sore throat.

Third and fourth steeps (also 10 seconds) are even darker, an amber color. Now the roasty-toastiness of the oolong is starting to come forward. And, against my expectations, that sweetness lingers. The main part of the sip almost verges on bitterness, which is so odd, but then boom, the sweetness is back. It’s a weird combo.

At this point it has taken on the characteristics of a roasted green oolong without much else going on, so I will cease my steepings now. But this one worked out well for me. I don’t know that it would become a regular tea that I crave often, but it’s definitely tasty and could be nice to keep around for its cold-busting properties.


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3229 tasting notes

Thanks to Teavivre for this generous free sample, and apologies for such a slow review!

I used about 2 tsp of tea in 2.5 cups of water for this tea, as I did with the DT version. This version definitely brewed up more quickly and strongly than the other, and even though it had less than half the time to brew, the flavour is quite similar. The biggest difference I’m noticing between them is in terms of sweetness; this tea is noticeably sweeter, and the sweetness emerges prior to swallowing, so is not just in the aftertaste. Other than that, both have a sweet, slightly seaweedy aroma, and the flavour of crispy fried seaweed, which is kind of toasty/seaweedy/delicious. Very interesting! After a bit of thought, the flavour could be described as quite “buttery”, which is how the fried seaweed comes off because of all the oil present. It’s tough to say which tea I’d prefer; I imagine that Teavivre’s has greater longevity, so if I was to purchase this again, that would probably be my choice, although I doubt I’ll pick this one up again of my own accord.

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736 tasting notes

This is a sample for Teavivre and it’s pretty tasty as with most oolongs I can never identify a specific taste (my brain just says yummy)


lol! I’m the same way. :D I read K S’s in-depth oolong reviews and I’m all like, how? Oh well, I’m happy with the “yummy,” and I guess that’s all that really matters. =)


I feel like I can usually taste 2-3 things but I’m amazed by people who list 5 or 6 (or more). I’ve often wondered if my taste buds are ruined because I’m an ex-smoker!


I think it’s because my brain goes “why the heck do you want to know that?!” and then refuses to answer.

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807 tasting notes

Thank you to Angel and Teavivre
What a very interesting tea!
From the texture, weight, shape, size, even color of it, not to mention its aroma and flavor!
These cute little bluish nuggets steep into this delicate oolong favor with the absolute most sweetest aftertaste that sits in the back of your throat. Then as you inhale there is this almost minty cooling sensation yet absolutely no minty flavor.
The ginseng is light, very light to me, and is found to sit mostly in the front of the mouth near the teeth and dissipates as you swallow again leaving that trail of sweet down the throat with the cooling after bust.
I just can’t get over this tea its so VERY unique. I can’t say I have ever had anything quite like it. It is a must try for anyone who says they want to try every tea they can!

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1173 tasting notes

Many thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this exciting sample!

1tsp of dry leaf
dry smell is very overwhelmingly ginseng
wet leaf smells lightly of ginseng along with some sweetness

taste: ginseng in the forefront, and then a bit of floral oolong in the background. As some other reviewers have mentioned, there is a sweet flavour that coats the throat

2nd steep: 2 minutes, the leaves still haven’t fully openend. Less ginseng flavour. That sweetness that coats the back of your throat is still there though. The oolong flavour comes out a little more in this steep as well. I like this steep just as much or more than the first one.
3rd steep: 3 minutes, the leaves are almost fully opened, so as expected, more oolong flavour shines through the ginseng. The ginseng is starting to be in the background now, as well as the sweetness.

Each steep is so different, and this tea is so different than anything I have had before, it is growing on me for sure.

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1715 tasting notes

This sample was provided by Teavivre. The tea originates from Dong Ding Mountain. I opened the generous bag and poured out a spoonful of leaf to examine. This looks like little pieces of volcanic rock covered by moss or maybe petrified tea pebbles. It is dark gray/green and rough textured as if it is painted rocks. I am going on about it because it is really different. The scent at first makes me think peppery. Of course it’s really the ginseng. It also has notes of oats or some kind of grain.

I brought 12oz of water to a roiling boil and poured into my press with about 4g (one good spoon) of nuggets. I steeped for two minutes. When the timer went off some of the leaf was dancing on the surface and some was on the bottom. None of it was completely unfurled. Interesting, there is a light roasted aroma coming out of the press – this wasn’t even hinted at in the scent of the dry leaf. The brew looked golden with a light green tint, in the press. Once poured it became a light orange in the cup.

As the cup sits to cool a bit, the smell of ginseng keeps catching my attention. It is beginning to make me nervous. Is this going to be an overdone flavor extremophile?

I take a sip and must admit I am confused, in a good way. The ginseng is mainly present at the front of the sip, then fades only to return at the end of the sip and is felt at the back of the mouth and throat. It is done with balance. It leaves the mouth with a wonderful cooling sensation. The roasted smell of the wet leaf is a very subdued hint in mid sip. Given that this is from Dong Ding mountain, I was expecting heavy oolong floral notes. Instead this tastes closer to a green tea but not bright and grassy or floral. The best I can do to describe this is it is like a lightly roasted green tea and grain soaked in milk with some ginseng sprinkled on top.

The second cup, also at 2 minutes, is darker. The wet leaf smells like steak. Mmmm steak. This cup is tastier to me. The roastiness comes out more and the ginseng is less pronounced. The sweet floral notes I was expecting are now in the aftertaste taste. A good cuppa. Not that they taste the same but it reminds me of Gurman’s Pepper Mango green tea.

Cup 3 is back to being orange in color and is weaker in flavor but still pretty good.

I highly like this. I can’t say I love it at the moment. More tastings are required. I am fascinated by how different it is from my expectations.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to write a book today.

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I love this one so much I had to order a whole pouch. Maybe I should go make myself a cup.

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635 tasting notes

I’m feeling kind of wonky, so I think that may translate into a wonky review. But here goes anyway! I’m enjoying my first cup of tea in my new apartment! This place ROCKS! But there’s sooooo much work to be done. Unpacking, organizing, decorating, and lots of trips to Lowes and Goodwill are in my future. I am super tired just thinking about it, so I thought this tea might be a good one to start with. Isn’t ginseng for energy? Well, there’s A LOT of ginseng in this tea! So, if you’re a fan of the taste, you’ll love this tea.

While waiting for the cup to cool, I read the purported health benefits. Prevents the decaying of teeth…?! Okay! Well, I can’t dislike this tea now! I wonder if that’s really true…anyway, this is an interesting tea. It reminds me of Blue People, but heavier on the ginseng and minus the awesome cooling sensation in the aftertaste of Blue People (see that tea here: http://steepster.com/teas/vital-tea-leaf/1803-blue-people).

First steep was 1 minute. Second steep was 2 minutes. Second cup is actually too strong for me. I don’t think I’d drink this regularly. The oolong is overwhelmed by ginseng, and I much prefer a plain oolong flavor. Still, it’s not bad and it fits the high quality standard of all Teavivre teas. It’s just not the tea for me. Also I’m still feeling just as tired as when I started drinking this tea, so not sure how energizing it really is… By the way, broccoli soup is gross. And it definitely does not go with ginseng oolong tea. Eww. I think I’ll call it a night and go to sleep.

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Congrats on new apartment! :)


Thanks!!! It’s been a long time coming. We’re really happy with it! :D


Oooh! a new apartment, how exciting! Hope you’re settling in nicely


Thanks, canadianadia!! :)

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300 tasting notes

One of several teas I shared with my friend Michelle at our tea date today, thank you to the other Michelle for the sample! We had this after Verdant’s Taiwanese Orchid Oolong. They are a bit similar though this was a bit mellower and less smokey/charcoaly and the sensations in the mouth were less intense. Still this is very very nice, it starts out subtler but in a later steep this evening it left a cool coating on the sides of my tongue and roof of my mouth. I have been wanting to try this one for awhile and it is actually my first ginseng oolong and it is already a favorite. I’m glad I only used half the sample so I can enjoy this another day when it is not following the intense orchid oolong, that many describe as being ginseng-like.


I’m glad you like it!

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525 tasting notes

Knowing that my mom is a fan of ginseng and fun new teas, I brought this sample packet home to share with my family. So we made a cup then got distracted by doggies. I think this cup steeped about 10 minutes. So it’s a bit strong, but not bitter or astringent at all! good stuff! My mom and dad were sipping it and going, “I don’t taste any ginseng.” I couldn’t really taste the ginseng either. Then the cup cooled and I tasted it. The ginseng is a slight cooling bitterness in the back of your throat. Very pleasant.

The oolong itself is a very roasty grainy type. It’s not really my thing, to be honest. But I think the quality is really good despite my personal preferences. :) any tea that doesn’t get bitter and astringent when you get distracted is good in my book.

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1220 tasting notes

I was not too excited to try this one because I’m not a big ginseng fan. But I do like oolong, and Teavivre was nice enough to send me the samples, so time to finally do it!

As an oolong it was really good, kind of roasted, but still vegetal. The ginseng kind of reminds me of a hybrid of some kind of sweetener and eucalyptus. It had that cooling feel but the aftertaste was this lingering, back of the throat sweetness. I didn’t really like that part.

I started drinking it far too late to get any more steeps out of it, but I plan to try it again soon. I imagine past that first steep that sweetness is more subtle as the ginseng fades, and I am pretty curious now about the oolong in here by itself too.

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