I haven’t reviewed on Steepster in a bit, so I figured I’d write a new one.

This Master Grade Tie Guanyin has all the makings of a Tie Guanyin, the buttery vegetal quality, the foresty and floral notes typical of Taiwanese high mountain oolong. As Tie Guanyins go, this one registers on the softer and more mellow side of the scale. There’s a gentle (and I really mean gentle) honey sweetness to it and a really soft vegetal flavor, reminding me slightly of spinach and zucchini. It is definitely floral. I can see the ideas others have offered of orchid or honeysuckle, but they are not quite on the mark from what I’m getting. Anyway, it’s hard to attribute other flavors to a tea in any case, so those are probably close enough, maybe a bit of a jasmine-like quality is there too.

What’s odd to me about this tea is that it is the Master Grade variant Tie Guanyin that Yezi offers, and it has less prominent and memorable qualities to me than the High Grade Tie Guanyin, which is a step down in grade and pricing. I’ve drank both today, so I have them fresh in memory to compare. Where the High Grade had the unmistakable scent of holiday spices and hints of camphor, the Master Grade is more round and no flavor or scent sticks out to me distinctly. It does seem more buttery than the other.

If it comes to personal recommendation though, I actually prefer the High Grade to this one as I think the “spiced” quality and camphor notes are what make that one really wonderful to me.

Flavors: Butter, Floral, Forest Floor, Honey, Vegetal

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 4 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Hi there, fellow tea lovers.

My name’s Lion and I’m a Gongfu Cha practitioner, so I usually brew with a gaiwan for reviews unless there’s a more suitable brewing method, like using Japanese teawares for Japanese teas. I tend to stick to straight loose teas and scented teas in general, seldom dabbling in herbal and flavored teas. My favorite tea is Kenyan Silver Needle.

Aside from tea, I’m a generally creative person. I love to cook, write fiction, draw, decorate, garden, and do just about anything creative I can get my paws on.

Animals are really important to me. I’m a lion at heart, and I strive to better understand, respect, and appreciate other animals as best as I can. I advocate for better stewardship of wildlife and captive animals. We’ve still got a lot to learn.

For a long time I rated every tea I tried, but these days I don’t rate them unless they’re exceptional and deserving of a high rating. Here’s my rating breakdown for my reviews with ratings:

0 = Unpalatable, harsh
25 = Unenjoyable
50 = I’m indifferent
75 = Enjoyable, average
90+ = The best, would buy more
100 = Incredible, a favorite


Kansas City, USA

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