Tieguanyin Spiced Orange

Tea type
Herbal Oolong Blend
Birch Bark, Oolong Tea, Orange Peel, Sarsaparilla, Vanilla
Smoke, Toast, Wood, Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Orange Zest, Roasted, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 6 g 194 oz / 5743 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

From Verdant Tea (Special)

The aroma on this blend reminds us of fresh baked pie. The flavor is juicy, spiced and creamy from a balanced mix built around Mast Zhang’s Traditional Tieguanyin. A simple counterpoint of orange peel, sarsaparilla, birch and vanilla finish off an already luscious tea for a real treat.

Ingredients: Master Zhang’s Traditional Tieguanyin, orange peel, birch, sarsaparilla, vanilla

From the Blends club (August 2014)

About Verdant Tea (Special) View company

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10 Tasting Notes

627 tasting notes

Another sort of ‘meh’ one this morning. I could taste the oolong easily, and there was a citrusy sourness from the Orange. But where is the spice?? I couldn’t taste that at all and I love spice!

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1723 tasting notes

From the EU TTB – Round 3

I’m not usually a fan of oolongs, but I’ve not much experience with Tieguanyin, so I decided to give this one a try. I used 1 tsp of leaf and gave it 3 minutes in water cooled to around 180 degrees. While brewing, the scent is strongly oolong – very roasty – with no orange or spice that I could discern. There are a generous amount of orange peel pieces in the mix, so this came as a bit of a surprise.

To taste, I’m picking up mostly oolong again. The liquor is a golden yellow, and the taste is roasted and a little smoky. It’s very, very smooth, though, with no bitterness or astringency at all. There’s a tiny hint of orange, but it’s very faint, and rather waxy-tasting. I’m not picking up any spice at all.

I’m a little disappointed with this one. I’d have liked more spice/orange from the flavour, maybe a slightly milder oolong. Sadly not for me.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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117 tasting notes

I got this one in August, when I was wallowing in the depths of an unfortunate mental low, so I never got around to trying it. Oh well, never too late.

It’s been a while since I had the sarsparilla tieguanyin, but I think this is like that, but better. The orange and vanilla (and the sarsparilla too, I guess) seem very subtle, but I think all of it comes together in a rather pleasant tea, and one of the better acquisitions from the blends club.

People in the reviews were mentioning how the straight tieguanyin was better, but I haven’t tried the traditional tieguanyin, only the spring and autumn harvest, so this tastes totally different and I have no standard of comparison. >.< More tieguanyin will be on the list once I’ve whittled down my cupboard and lifted the tea ban.

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1355 tasting notes

Last night I tried this blend with my husband as our ‘Saturday night tea time treat’. I already had my Gongfu teapot out from an earlier session so I used that, it’s 200ml and I used roughly 6g of tea. Honestly I felt I would try my method first before the standard instructions, partly because it was late and I felt like being a rebel and partly because I like my tea strong.

Well the first steep of roughly 45 seconds came out rather strong. Difficult to taste any orange (at all) but it was certainly spicy, smoky, earthen and toasted. Not unpleasant, much like a mature Tie Guan Yin, nice but just not what I was looking for.

The second steep of roughly 45 seconds came out lighter than the previous steep and there was a hint of waxy orange amidst it’s heavy and mature flavours. Nicer but still not quite right.

Then I went for a third steep, losing my faith in this tea due to the lack of orange I decided to give it a minute to steep and give it a final try. It mimicked the second steep rather well, it was waxy orange like rind and it’s strength was a little toned down from what it was.

I left it for roughly an hour or two before deciding I would give it one last go. So with the same leaves I prepared some more. Roughly 1 minute each additional steep. The wait made all the difference, my fourth steep ie first re steep revealed more orange flavour, less thick Tie Guan Yin and a spicy lingering after taste. Much more what I was expecting. It was still full of flavour too, medium strength overall so it carried on well. After that I did another two steeps and each was a wonderful greeting of orange, spice and lightly baked Oolong with wood tones. A fresh, autumnal style flavour that left me feeling warm inside.

I liked this tea very much (in the end) but it’s still not perfect to my tastes. I would prefer more orange and spice still, something sweeter perhaps to help lift the ingredients together. Though I know with certainty that I could happily finish this sample.

Flavors: Smoke, Toast, Wood

Boiling 6 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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2185 tasting notes

I should probably drink more teas if I want my stash to ever decrease! I’m just not as excited about teas anymore; probably because I have spent a lot of time lately focusing on sipdowns and thus drinking teas I don’t really love. Good thing I have some new DF teas coming in; those should be a pick me up!

This is of course one of the blends club blends from last month. When I had my little rant about the redundancy of Verdant’s blends the other week I didn’t realize that this has sarsaparilla in it as well. WHY MUST ALL OOLONGS CONTAIN SARSAPARILLA? I say this as someone who loves root beer/sarsaparilla/birch beer. But it’s too much. They all taste the same.

I am nevertheless rating this one slightly higher than the others because I think the orange adds a needed brightness and the vanilla a needed smoothness that really help this blend. That said, I feel like the flavors are a bit weak in this one. I added a bit more to my steeping basket because the first scoop seemed to be mostly “stuff” and little actual tea, and I was wondering if it would be too much for my 12oz cup at 3 minutes, but not so. Definitely not oversteeped, and definitely wishing for more vanilla and orange. And less sarsaparilla/birch. Ah well, into the cold brew basket it goes.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

which DF did you order Dinosara ? I’m curious :)


I ordered more Caramel-Toffee and Fleurilège, as well as Amore, Bulgare, and Rose de Mai (a limited edition tin). I haven’t tried the last three. :)


seems great and rose teas are often so lovely. The classic rose of DF is one of my favorite rose teas.


I dislike sarsaparilla in tea so far lol, the smell just turns me off. Unfortunately I quit the blends club because of this haha just not to my personal taste..I haven’t even tried this tea yet for fear it will be too sarsaparilla-y.


Having said what I said in this note, it wasn’t SUPER sarsaparilla-y. Not as much as the others, at least.


You and I are totally in the same boat. I mean, I still love tea, but I’ve immensely slowed down on the tea consumption because I’ve been forcing myself to sip a lot down and cut the stash in half before trying anything new or restocking on favourites.

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8180 tasting notes

Cameron – while i agree with your comment that this was the best of the three…this is yet another one that i’m underwhelmed with, and finding no vanilla just a baguely sort of orange like tea that’s an oolong. another not really a fan of sort of thing for me…especially this type. Terri….i hope you enjoy! lol

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1113 tasting notes

Thanks Cameron B for the sample!

I actually quite like this. The TGY is of course, really delicious. The additions to it are subtle, but welcome and seem to pair very nicely. I would not have know there was orange just by the taste, but the subtle spices are very nice! Yummo.

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599 tasting notes

Unlike the only other commenter here, I steeped this…closer to the directions. I steeped it for a minute rather than 30 seconds at 205 degrees and I have to say that I’m not getting much other than the tea itself. The additional ingredients aren’t making much of an impact with that short of a steeping time, though the tieguanyin itself is quite nice. A bit roasty and sweet. Next time (next steep?) I’ll try to remember to steep this for a bit longer. Right now it’s giving me a headache because I haven’t eaten anything yet today (darn you oolong effect!)

Second steep (the next day) – done at boiling (thanks Dinosara) and 4 minutes. I can taste more now, a tiny bit of citrus and what I think is the sarsaparilla. Which I apparently have been pronouncing wrong forever. The vanilla is very faint, if it’s there at all, it’s hard for me to tell. And I don’t know what birch is supposed to taste like.

Overall, I think I like the plain tieguanyin better.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 750 OZ / 22180 ML

haha oh verdant and their short steepings for blends clubs..


Yeah, I don’t know why I pay attention to it. It might be enough time to get the ‘tea’ taste but not really enough for the rest of the ingredients. I assume that’s why it’s all ‘boiling’ too since that’s bad for the oolong but almost necessary for the orange peels, etc.


Boiling isn’t bad for oolong… That’s a common misconception. I used to always brew oolongs at 195F but now I usually brew them at boiling and they are fine, even western style. They are more robust than people give them credit for!


Good to know. Thanks Dinosara.

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972 tasting notes

This is the final tea from Verdant’s blends club for the month of August. This was really the only one out of the three that I was any kind of excited to try… I don’t really have any experience with tieguanyin itself, but at least there’s no licorice or flowers in this one. :P The leaves are a dark brown-green color, and they’re somewhat loosely rolled. The dry scent is mostly roasted oolong, but I do get a little bit of citrus and vanilla. I steeped about a teaspoon and a half for 4 minutes at 190 degrees.

Brewed, the aroma is still mostly roasty and oolongish with maybe a little bit of vanilla? However, the other elements are there in the taste, thank goodness! The oolong itself is very light and sweet, with just enough of a roasty punch. There’s a nice orange flavor, especially near the end of the sip and in the aftertaste. It kind of builds as I continue to drink. The vanilla, well… it’s not there as much as I would like it to be. I can taste a teeny bit. There’s also just the slightest suggestion of spice at the end, I guess it must be coming from the sarsaparilla. I have no idea what birch bark tastes like, so I couldn’t tell you whether or not it’s here. Overall, this is a lovely light and slightly creamy citrusy tea, it kind of reminds me of Fauchon’s Sweet Almond & Orange tea. Thank goodness, I at least liked one tea from this box… glares at Verdant.

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Orange Zest, Roasted, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

Glad that one suited you. Birch is usually a slightly menthol flavour.

Cameron B.

Oh I see, thanks for telling me. :D I don’t think I got any menthol.

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