Taiwan Ginseng (Lan Gui Ren) Oolong Tea

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Apple, Cucumber, Earth, Fruity, Menthol, Mineral, Vegetal, Medicinal, Sweet, Grass, Lettuce
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 30 sec 9 g 9 oz / 260 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

790 tasting notes

Four Season oolongs and ginseng will never be my favourite things, but this is still a nice tea to pull out when I want something green, clean, and vegetal. I’m placing it into the “when I’m sick” category.

If there is anything interesting going on with the base oolong I’m not picking it up. The ginseng is the Boss here.

Steep Count: 4

Flavors: Apple, Cucumber, Earth, Fruity, Menthol, Mineral, Vegetal

190 °F / 87 °C 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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365 tasting notes

Sample obtained from purchase. Brewed in a gongfu session with a porcelain gaiwan. Since I decided to brew the entire sample, I slightly changed the website’s steeping directions: flash rinse, 20 seconds, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 4 minutes (the gaiwan overflowed with water at the last infusion).

The dry leaf smells a little bit floral but mostly of ginseng, the latter of which is intensified when I let the leaf sit in the pre-heated gaiwan. Once rinsed, the wet leaf smells roasted, absent of ginseng and floral notes. (Both the oolong – the Four Seasos variety – and ginseng were roasted for 4-6 hours, according to the website.)

The liquor looks beautiful in morning sunlight: clear golden yellow. Halfway through the session, though, when the ginseng has completely dissolved, many small leaf bits pour from the gaiwan. Of all the infusions, the first tastes most like ginseng. I’ve never had ginseng before. It’s like a sticking sweetness, reminiscent of stevia and licorice, and clings to the back of the tongue. Beginning with the second infusion, vague floral notes from the oolong appear. The ginseng and oolong are balanced for the remainder of the session and complement each other. The sweet aftertaste lingers for at least half-hour.

This is my first Ginseng Oolong. I’m not sure what to think of it and this particular one that Teavivre sells. It seems like it can grow on me. I think I should try it again Western style to see how it steeps. It didn’t undergo much evolution during the gongfu session since the quality of the oolong wasn’t great (totally understandable given it’s meant to be coated with ginseng in this case). For what it is to me now, I remain neutral about the taste but I am positive about the quality. It wasn’t off-putting at all. I commented on the numerous leaf bits in case you wondered you should use a strainer or not prior to trying this out for yourself and didn’t know what you were getting into (I didn’t myself).

Boiling 7 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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658 tasting notes

Thanks to Christina for the sample! Happy pi day to all and a happy snow day to everyone in the northeast. I’m wishing you lots of snowball fights and no shoveling.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of this particular tea. The first steep has a weird, stevia-like sweetness. The second steep tastes more like a generic oriental beauty, but it leaves behind an unpleasant, sickly-sweet film after the sip. I don’t want to go in for steep three. I still have a bit of leaf left so I’ll try cold brewing the rest.

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417 tasting notes

I got a sample bag of this as an add-on in a swap with somebody. I used the whole 7g in a 100mL gaiwan. The dry leaf smelled weirdly sweet and herbal – must have been the smell of ginseng – not sure I’ve ever smelled or consumed that before.

Turns out ginseng is gross – to me anyways. It was sickeningly sweet with a weird almost medicinal vibe. Also left a very strange feeling in my mouth. Sort of like menthol, but also I tasted that funky sweetness every time I inhaled – like the ginseng powder coated the inside of my mouth. I only made it through around 3 steeps, as it wasn’t good and was starting to make me feel slightly unwell.

Maybe it’s for some people, but it’s definitely not for me.

Flavors: Medicinal, Menthol, Sweet

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Lol, Korean people consider most things with ginseng in it pretty much herbal medicine. My mother used to make a foul concoction in a slow cooker that would fill the house with its stench for days with some potent ginseng-herbal remedy known simply as “han-yahk” or Korean medicine that I am remembering the smell of just by reading your review, XD.


Thanks so much for your tasting notes.

It seems that you’re not a fan of teas with ginseng, or just not big on ginseng. As a mixture of 95 percent of traditional Oolong tea and 5 percent of American ginseng, so yes, it has obvious flavor of Ginseng when you smell on the dry tea.

When brewed, there is a really sweet flavor throughout the mouth both in front and in the back, combining with clear and fresh aroma and rich fluid under tongue with strong aftertaste. Meanwhile, the Ginseng flavor will be gradually faded after several infusions.

I totally understand you just simply don’t like Ginseng flavor, and if you’re interested in, I can send you other Oolong samples to try.


Oof, now that I know what ginseng smells like, I don’t think I would enjoy the whole house smelling that way for days ;P


@Teavivre – Yea I just don’t enjoy ginseng, is what I’m taking from this tea. I have tried some other teas, including oolongs, from your site and they’ve all been quite nice :)

Hope you don’t take the review personally – it’s the ginseng, not you! ;)


@Matu, please don’t worry, I understand that!

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282 tasting notes

Today I brewed a bit thermos of this for a rock climbing/hiking adventure! This is always a good thermos tea for me. 1tsp in 20oz @ 205F, 2.5min. Afterwards we went to a Japanese garden park and there was a tea plant area! Thus I got to drink tea while looking at tea plants. hehe. It was very peaceful.

I’m not sure if that’s sadistic or not, like eating eggs while watching chickens.

Christina / BooksandTea

That sounds like a lovely place! Where is this park?


=D Hakone Japanese Garden in Los Gatos, CA. I HIGHLY recommend the hiking in Castle Rock park, which is up the hill.

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650 tasting notes

Picked out as a sample for me. This smells mostly vegetal. The flavour is a bit sweet, and a little medicinal. Probably not the best to have with my eggs.

Not really my cuppa, but glad I got to try it anyway.

Flavors: Medicinal, Vegetal

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1104 tasting notes


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372 tasting notes

Sooooooo Happy Ice Tea Day! Is it a coincidence that ice tea month is 6 months from hot tea month in January? No celebration is a must. However I’m celebrating with hot tea rather than the iced version I’m having it hot. https://youtu.be/Xf2MNCu5oqM Yes a little Power Station for your enjoyment. I have a great affection for Ginseng Oolong. I love the sweetness the back end of the sip…funny looks and inquisitions from coworkers. It’s harder to get Oolong flavor because of the ginseng but it’s a pretty good base. If it was a poor quality you would taste it. I’m liking this one quite a bit. I don’t know if I’ll get “boost” from the ginseng but, I’m liking it regardless. Maybe next steep will be on the rocks.

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627 tasting notes

I don’t think I like ginseng. This tea was flavorful, sweet, super mineral, and what I assume ginseng-y. It was a bit too much like medicine for me. If you enjoy ginseng, you will likely enjoy this, as the quality is clear.

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1113 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample Cameron B

Apparently ginseng is NOT for me. It tastes a little sweet and a little like oolong but mostly it tastes like licorice and medicine. So, WARNING, if you do not like the taste of licorice beware of ginseng!


I always wondered about ginseng oolongs…doesn’t sound like I need to explore them. :P


Haha, I didn’t find ginseng quite as bad as licorice, but I totally get the comparison!

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