10 Year Wood-Fired Tieguanyin

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Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by David Duckler
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200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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15 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Once upon a time someone, I forget who, shared a sample with me of a charcoal roasted TGY, I forget from where. I don’t think that one was aged, but I do remember that I really liked it and that I...” Read full tasting note
  • “How is it the afternoon already? A whole half day has gone by, and no tea yet for me! I rumage around in my big-bag-o’-tea-to-drink-at-work, and I find.. a little tucked away sample of this! I...” Read full tasting note
  • “10 Year aged wood fired Tieguanyin –Verdant tea Dry: dry chestnuts, milk chocolate, caramel Wet: spicy, mesquite wood, black walnut Leaf: Chocolate hued, tightly knotted leaves, when hydrated...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thanks to Dinosaura for this sample… I think I might like darker oolongs better than most people but wasn’t sure what to expect with this. I have been doing my steepings in the gaiwan for around 30...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

This incredible tea began as a spring picking Tieguanyin from Anxi. It was wood-fired by hand using the traditional methods and aged for 10 years to develop an incredible thick roasted flavor that complements the sweet creamy floral nature of spring Tieguanyin. This tea can be brewed many times, and yields a complexity that seems to almost tell a story. It begins as very light and sweet, like a green Tieguanyin, but with warmer qualities. It develops a flavor that evokes the image of caramelized sap from a fir tree. In later steepings the floral buttery quality of the Tieguanyin reasserts itself, but with a flavor that lingers deeper in the throat long after drinking

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15 Tasting Notes

1353 tasting notes

Once upon a time someone, I forget who, shared a sample with me of a charcoal roasted TGY, I forget from where. I don’t think that one was aged, but I do remember that I really liked it and that I was going to do some investigation about whether it was something I could buy for myself, some shops being, as we all know, out of my reach due to geography. But then I forgot about it.

When I went to look at Verdant Tea’s site, to see what else other than the Laoshan Northern Black that was leaving half of Steepster in fits of ecstacy, I came across this one and was reminded of aforementioned charcoal roasted TGY. So obviously I had to have some.

The idea of roasting oolongs that would otherwise be on the greener end of the spectrum really appeals to me. I do generally prefer the darker oolongs, so that’s probably the reason. Here’s a funny fact. The darker end of the spectrum and the greener end, I like those. Oolong that are more halfway between the two? I just don’t find them very appealing at all. Not plain, anyway. I just can’t figure out what it’s trying to be, because to me it’s neither here nor there. The infamous Raspberry Oolong is based on one of those in-betweens, but that’s okay because it’s flavoured. The perfect oolong of this sort might be out there, but I haven’t found it yet.

But leaving that tangent, let’s return to the tea at hand. The aroma is really nice here. It’s a sort of mixture between cocoa and coal. The first association I got when I poured water on the leaves was burnt toast. Maybe it’s my affinity to smoky teas that make me really enjoy this aroma in a tea. Not so much in toast, though. It doesn’t actually smell smoky, but it sort of smells like it could be, and I find that really nice.

The flavour is really woodsy and again there is a hint of burnt toast. The note of cocoa from the aroma is still there in the flavour, but it’s not very noticable.

Actually, the flavour kind of reminds me a little of pears. There is definitely some sort of fruity sensation going on somewhere in here. It’s all juicy and not quite but nearly sweet, and it results in an aftertaste that covers every mucus membrane of the mouth. I can actually feel it on my gums! It’s sort of slightly cool and a bit prickly, a little like mint does. Not quite as heavily as actual mint, of course. Just exactly enough to be noticable.

As the cup cools, I find the cocoa comes out more and there is a little astringency. And suddenly I notice a very strong note of hazelnut. It’s right there in the front waving a big flag and shouting “I AM HAZELNUT! HEAR ME ROAR!” I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before I was halfway through the cup! I could have sworn it wasn’t there in the beginning. What sort of switcheroo magic stuff is this?

Finally, let’s come back to that burnt toast aspect, because that’s interesting. As mentioned I have a certain affinity to smoky teas, and although this doesn’t have even as much as a hint of a smoke note that I can find, I would still place it, mentally, on the outskirts of that group. It’s that burnt toast that does it. It creates the idea of smoke, but then when you look closer there’s nothing there. It’s like an optical illusion for the tongue.

I’m enjoying this, and it totally lived up to my memory and expectations from that other one I mentioned.

The real mystery, though, is this. How can burnt toast in toast be so unpleasant, when in tea it’s so nice?


I always thoroughly enjoy your tasting notes. This is another great one, and so I must add this tea to my shopping list!


Thank you, CHAroma, that was very kind of you. :)


I only speak the truth. Plus, you have Sleipnir as your picture. AWESOME!!!


Hey Angrboda, do you brew teas gongfu style? I think this one in particular is fascinating and mysterious when prepared as such over many many short steeps. When I brew this tea out beyond 20 gongfu infusions, it’s like I’m observing the tea go backwards in time through the full span of it’s 10-year life. It starts out with that great smoky roast and ends like you’re drinking a fresh spring Tieguanyin. Also like traveling far over dramatically changing landscapes: at first around the fire of a chieftain’s camp in the Arabian desert surrounded by tents of luxurious textiles, then back along the silk road until wandering through the lush green mountains of Fujian.


Sometimes I do, but most times it’s western style. I have to be super-inspired to do that many infusions of the same tea in one day, because I get bored easily. So it depends on how inspired I feel, whether I’ve got all day or if it’s a work day, whether I’m sharing it with the boyfriend, and on what I’m doing that day. I find that gong fu style is excellent when I’m writing, because if I make a whole mug and the writing is going well, I forget about it. (Unless it’s the tea I’m writing about obviously)

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59 tasting notes

How is it the afternoon already? A whole half day has gone by, and no tea yet for me!

I rumage around in my big-bag-o’-tea-to-drink-at-work, and I find.. a little tucked away sample of this! I thought this was all gone, everywhere! shifty eyes yummmMMM!

I am loving this magic bag.

Quick notes: orange cream, roasty toasty, salted caramel ice cream
particularly this ice cream (don’t look, ye of weak wills!):

I also love the feeling of this one on my tongue, both as I’m drinking and after I’ve finished the sip. The movement of flavors across my tongue.. like light in the water, or rolling waves of electricity. Or, as TeaEqualsBliss said it the other day:
flavors that move like a football-stadium-crowd-wave

I’ve found all exquisite teas share this movement, where my tongue feels like it’s changing colors like the lights on a deep-sea jelly-fish. A real treat to have this in my cup at work, and to have it linger so long in between sips.


Now that’s a good one. OK Jellyfish tongue! That’s a cool one. You sound tea drunk!!!! Funny!!!


Not tea drunk now, but perhaps I was when I thought of it! :D The image came to me while drinking some pu’er a few weekends back, and it’s been stuck in my head. How do you describe that feeling?


You mean the feeling the fuzzies or like after novocaine when your tongue is coming alive again? Morphing? I think what you said was quite fine and perfect!
I have tasted wine that was like descending rapidly into a cellar on an elevator through one flavor after another. The tannin in the wine kept tripping me over and over again with the ripe fruit. It was amazing. I counted at least 12 levels that I can remember which pleased the winemaker to no end. I’ll never forget it.


funny you mention Jeni’s as I get to work with them and occasionally add by tea and coffee inputs….she is a lovely lady and its so great that a fellow Ohio business is getting so much love

Autumn Hearth

This is one I really really would love to try, must fine someone with enough that are willing to part with a serving in a swap.

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54 tasting notes

10 Year aged wood fired Tieguanyin –Verdant tea
Dry: dry chestnuts, milk chocolate, caramel
Wet: spicy, mesquite wood, black walnut
Leaf: Chocolate hued, tightly knotted leaves, when hydrated turn a dark, inky black
Cup: to begin, this is a tea best enjoyed in either the wonderful chambers of a cured yixing purple clay teapot, or in the visible embrace of a glass gaiwan or similar glass tea pot. There is a beautiful extractive color bloom that graces the cup upon extraction, not unlike Toucho Pu –erhs, where the dark nest of leaves sinks to the bottom, releasing tendrils of reddish stains that leach into the coppery-golden green liquor ; these threads of reddish life ripple and twist in the liquor at any agitation and when the tea is poured, unify the color into a green-edged burnt umber cup. Its as close to a aurora borealis or a ‘red tide’ as one finds in a cup and this expression is usually only granted compressed pu-erhs that are sized for individual steeping. As a former fisherman in Alaska, this is always a wonderful moment, especially to introduce to others.
The flavors of this tea are complex. Notes of cedar ash, kombu, and chocolate layered against textural depth that moves from clarified butter silkiness, melting milk chocolate, and marinating smoky brine. There is a slight note of almost rolled oats on the final lingering finish. There is a type of unusual mouth feel that is particular to this tea that is unlike the common usage of astringency or tannins, as it leaves a texture that is not unlike cocoa nibs or in 70% or greater dark bittersweet chocolate; it hugs the tongue elusively and hints at sweet and bitter notes, long after the sip has vanished. The leaves are leathery and stay tightly twisted, so don’t expect them to unfurl like a typical oolong and don’t be afraid to use higher steep temps. as the tea is very forgiving and resists bitterness. Expect a few extractions with the notes evolving into mesquite, spicy notes and the body slowly changing to more of a creamy, nutty profile.
Brewing: used 4oz of tea in a 8oz traditional Taiwanese gaiwan, with 200 degree water steeped for 5 min with 2 minutes added to each following extraction.
Thanks so much to the generous gift of Verdant Tea and to their commitment to heritage, story, and the humbleness of a shared cup

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 30 sec

I love the way you describe this, especially cedar ash, mesquite, and the juxtaposition of melting milk chocolate and marinating smokey brine. I can never find the words to describe the texture of roasted and aged oolongs, but you’ve armed me with some powerful images. Thank you!

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2816 tasting notes

Thanks to Dinosaura for this sample…

I think I might like darker oolongs better than most people but wasn’t sure what to expect with this. I have been doing my steepings in the gaiwan for around 30 seconds or so.

First steep: very roasted quality, aroma is a bit like burnt sugar and vanilla but flavor is lagging, I don’t think my water was hot enough either

Second steep: the sweetness is starting to come up a bit more along with some nuttiness. reminds me a lot of buckwheat or roasted barley and a bit of the hojicha I had a few days back. There is some tobacco is the aroma for me. Interesting.

Third steep: Very toasty, a bit smoky… I am still getting these burnt sugar/honey like flavors but it isn’t evolving into much more. It does have a bit of a bitter aftertaste…

I’ve enjoyed it but probably is not going to go on the must purchase list. I can’t help but wonder if I would appreciate this more on a cold and rainy day, I think I’ll save the rest of my sample for a time like that. This was fun to try but sadly, I’m losing interest. It tastes like someone charbroiled it, which is kind of the point, really but maybe not what I was in the mood for just now.

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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2201 tasting notes

This is the last tea from my oolong sample pack from Verdant that I haven’t tried… I know, what’s taken me so long? I have been discovering recently that I don’t care for dark oolongs as much, so while I was curious about this one, I also am going in thinking that I won’t love it.

The dry tea has some vegetal and slightly floral notes, but also some darker note. If it hadn’t been autumn, I might not have identified the overall aroma as that of fallen leaves, but that’s what it’s reminding me of right now. Steeped, I get strong campfire scents, especially early in a campfire when you are still burning tinder and leaves to get it going, and including that almost sweet aroma that some wood fires have. The flavor has those woody, smokey notes but also a surprising (based on the aroma… I suppose its not surprising given the tea origin) floral note that really grows in the sip. Intriguing. This is a very interesting tea, and clearly a very fine one. It is not typically they kind of tea I would drink, but it is impressive nonetheless.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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134 tasting notes

This tea is amazing! I received this sample from Verdant Teas in with the rest of my order, and I have to say it is going on my shopping list. A beautiful roasted Tieguanyin that has a wonderful light aroma and nice lingering taste. It is highly addictive, and makes you keep coming back for more steepings. Truly one that you must try.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec

if you like this one consider also ‘Strong Fire Oolong – Tieguanyin’ from the Tao of Tea…rich almost chocolate meets kombu flavors, dark knotted leaves, complex carob, caramel notes…

E Alexander Gerster

Thanks! I have not yet ordered from Tao of Tea, and this might give me a good excuse (as if I need one). Your description sounds fascinating. :)


send me an address and I could send you a sample of this


let me know if you want a sample of this I might have one…just send me an address

David Duckler

I am glad that you enjoy the 10-Year Aged Tieguanyin. The farmer who sold this to me was very proud to pull it out. He wanted me to notice how the creamy and floral notes of greener tieguanyin still come through, even with the aging and firing. So many of the samples I tried of the darker Tieguanyin felt burnt, they just tasted like caramel and brown sugar, which is a bit simple. Definitely be sure to steep this one out multiple times, as the flavor gets more rich in later infusions.

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658 tasting notes

This tea is absolutely fascinating. It’s the first aged Oolong I’ve ever tried, and I’m really enjoying its complexity. I should wait a few more infusions before logging it as it’s changing with each cup. But, I’m taking a break from paper-writing.

I get an evergreen sap scent from the liquor and especially the dry leaf, as mentioned in the tea’s description. Also that deep, dark roastiness. It smelled quite intimidating, but I’m learning to be less afraid of the scent of roasted Oolongs. It’s woody and dark but there’s no bitterness and it actually ends with a hint of sweetness in the back of my mouth. This tastes like a wood fire to me, but like the FIRE part, not the smoke. It tastes like the point at which a fire has burnt out at the cottage but we’re still sitting around the charred logs, pine needles and soil under foot. It’s earthy and yet silken. Excellent!


I am getting a package from Verdant tea tomorrow – so excited!


They’re exciting packages! I’m sure you’ll enjoy.


Wow, so many tastes! I don’t think my buds are so sophisticated as that! Maybe one day. :)

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39 tasting notes

WOW! Revisiting this tea right now. The Taiwanese roasted oolong I tried recently piqued my interest in giving this one another go. My first attempt with this was months ago in a very young yixing teapot, which was still gobbling up flavor at the time. I knew I wasn’t really getting what this tea had to offer in that session, so I withheld judgement. I’ve just brewed this for about ten infusions in my gaiwan, and it’s very impressive. I must say I love it! No time to articulate further at the moment, but I’ll make a point of writing a more insightful tasting note in the future.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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294 tasting notes

I am getting cocoa and maybe buckwheat honey. It is warm and toasty. I am getting the warm glow inside. An interesting selection from Verdant. I steeped this for 5 minutes with boiling water because I read it is very forgiving. The Immediate aroma from the second steep was tobacco. I can see multiple steepings are in the mix. I am getting a copper-mineral taste with the 2nd. Sensations in the mouth similar to the Big Red Robe.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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189 tasting notes

Incredible tea! Three infusions saw no diminution of the melting butter, baked fruit, and chestnut flavors that mix with the smoky essence to create a complex yin/yang experience. While I have always appreciated the delicacy of non-roasted, lightly-oxidized Oolongs, I tend to favor heartier teas in general and this gives me all the fruity flavors of an OOlong with the body of a smoked black tea. Like an album you fall in love with and can’t stop listening to, I can see myself pushing repeat on this tea for weeks on end.


I love the album metaphor; I think I won’t be able to help quoting you on that one.

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