Master Zhang's Top Grade Traditional Tieguanyin

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Cream, Flowers, Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Orchids, Roasted Barley, Stonefruit
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Edit tea info Last updated by Dinosara
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 10 oz / 300 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea (Special)

Reserve Club – July

The best way to understand Tieguanyin and what makes it so incredible is to stand in the valley below Master Zhang’s terraced fields and take in the landscape. Wildflowers grow through all the rows of tea, mist covers the land, a mountain spring flows into a rivulet, tropical birds call across the valley, and the smell is sweet and pure.

While most of the tea Master Zhang produces is green Tieguanyin, the one he chose to brew for us to welcome us into his home and express the spirit of his land was his traditional Tieguanyin, which undergoes a light roast. Our green Tieguanyin is barely roasted at all, while this undergoes a curing process with careful roasting to bring out more savory notes.

The result is a perfectly balanced, tempered and natural tea. The flavor is still creamy, floral and fresh, but it is complimented with a more caramel and semolina base flavor. The depth invites many steepings and further exploration. Since Master Zhang chose this tea to welcome us, we thought it would make a natural fit in the Reserve Club.

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13 Tasting Notes

2201 tasting notes

I cold steeped this. Really. But it was totally worth it. I love a slightly roasty green oolong in cold steep and this was no exception. Delish! I find them particularly refreshing. YUM.


Oh, I’ve never tried cold steeping a tie guan yin. I shall!

Terri HarpLady

Hmmmm…I think I still have some of this, I might have to give it a try…


I cold steep my spent leaves usually in the summertime. I cold steep puerh too. Both are refreshing…deeply hydrading.

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3294 tasting notes

The month is over, & nobody has reviewed this tea yet? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only actual member of the TOMC. This is one of the Reserve TOMC selections for July.

When I initially opened the packet, there was initially a stale aroma, like grains that have been sealed in a jar for awhile, but that quickly subsided & was replaced by the smell of sweet lightly roasted stone fruit & a light incense.

Following the suggested steeping parameters, I put 4 Grams in my porcelain jingdezhen wide lotus Gaiwan,
steeped it 5 seconds & strained it into my glass test tube steeper (because my Rishi glass pitcher has a crack in it, whine),
and I’m sipping the tea from a Jingdeshen Red Lotus cup
BTW, verdant has their teaware on sale this week, for those who are interested.

Since this Gaiwan & cup are porcelain, I can drink any teas from them, but I’ve officially dedicated them to Tieguanyins because… well… because I can! It just seems right. The shorter wide Gaiwan gives lots of room for the leaves to expand & they look so pretty & happy swimming around in there.

So this tea is a little incense-like, very savory, but also a little sweet & slightly roasty. There is a fruitiness to it of dried peaches, a little bit of a grassiness to it, & a nice tongue tingling sensation as well. After several steepings the incense taste became a gentle floral, & the sweetness continued, with a creamy texture.

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114 tasting notes

2/28/14 5g/waterchestnut yixing/190F Toasty goodness! Many many steeps of roasty nutty good tea.

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142 tasting notes

‘Traditional Tieguanyin’ is one of the categories to fill in my fantasy tea collection, and this one will be tough to beat. I may not even try, at least until this variety goes away and I have to! This being my first year not in a northern state, I think I’ll absolutely have to try Dinosara’s cold steep on this, as I can imagine it will be terrific.

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1112 tasting notes

I’m enjoying this one much more then I thought I would. Somewhat eartjy. A bit of hay. Creaminess here and there. Woodsy. A perfect tea for this beautiful fall day.

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652 tasting notes

I can’t “like” anyone’s tea notes. This is irritating me. Whatever browser I use, I can’t “like” anything. GAH.

Back to tea …

1.5 tsp for 300mL water @90C, rinsed, steeped 3 minutes, then steeped 4 minutes.

Both infusions gave me an exquisite tieguanyin, with sharp florals, a touch of cream, faint vegetal notes, even, I thought, some faint and light musk, a light toastiness that just coaxes everything else out a little more, and so much oolong beauty that I have trouble writing about it. This tieguanyun needs, and will reward, your full attention.

Flavors: Cream, Flowers, Grass, Honeydew, Mineral, Orchids

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

I can like, but the heart is tiny and it doesn’t stay red. I sent them an email a little while ago begging them to have a look at it, because non-stick likes are really frustrating me. I heard of someone else who couldn’t like anything either, but I don’t know what they did to fix it.

Michelle Butler Hallett

I’ve been corresponding with Steepster on this and other issues, including recurrent e-mails asking me to finish a purchase I never started. It all seemed to start when I asked to be removed from the Steepster Select mailing list, as, being in Canada, I can’t take advantage of Steepster Select (they ship only to US addresses). Steepster can give me no clear answer on the “like” thing, nor on why I keep getting the “finish your purchase” notes. It’s such a small problem, in the scheme of things, but it’s all irritating.

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62 tasting notes

Great roasted tieguanyin. It is quite smooth and even a bit creamy in the first cup. Others have noted the smell of incense on the wet leaves, which I detected. I don’t think it carries over into the flavor. There is a slight cooling sensation in the aftertaste. Since this was called a traditional tieguanyin I think expected something a bit toastier. I for a roasted tieguanyin I prefer Rishi Tea’s version.

Flavors: Roasted Barley, Stonefruit

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g

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