Organic Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea with honey

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Oolong Tea Leaves
Flowers, Honey
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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38 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I set up my bamboo tray on the floor in the living room last night, lit candles, and brought in the electric kettle. Hubby and I had seven steeps in my eight ounce glass pot. I love using the...” Read full tasting note
  • “This is another from my second batch of samples from Teavivre (many thanks!) I was feeling a little Western Gong Fu-ish today, so steeped some up while watching the beau play Uncharted 2 with my...” Read full tasting note
  • “I bought this a while back, and have had a few times now. I keep putting of reviewing it because the experience was so different to what I was expecting. Either way, I bought a bunch of it, so it...” Read full tasting note
  • “I have had this sample for a long time and just getting around to it now! I used the whole sample package for my cup. This tea smells amazingly sweet and like a fresh meadow with flowers and...” Read full tasting note

From Teavivre

Origin: Zhangzhou, Fujian, China

Ingredients: Jade colored leaves (hand made into small, rolled up), then soaked in organic honey

Taste: Delightfully sweet honey flavoured and aroma

Brew: 3-4 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 212 ºF (100 ºC) for 1 to 3 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Tie Guan Yin tea is the premium form of Chinese Oolong teas. 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. The antioxidants it contains can also help guard against some forms of cancer, and also help fight the affects of aging and bacterial infections. Apart from the health benefits of Oolong tea, the honey used in this tea is also a completely unprocessed organic honey, collected from flowers in the forest in the area around where the tea is grown.

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38 Tasting Notes

3259 tasting notes

I set up my bamboo tray on the floor in the living room last night, lit candles, and brought in the electric kettle. Hubby and I had seven steeps in my eight ounce glass pot. I love using the tiny double walled glass cups I bought from Teavivre with my glass pot! The tea looks so beautiful in glass and you don’t burn your fingers. A friend had tea with me using these once and made me order a set for her before she left.

This is a good TGY. I don’t taste the honey and I noticed Bliss said it added texture to her tea. Perhaps that is what I should look for next time but nothing about honey stood out to me. I don’t add any sweetener to oolongs (or hardly anything, for that matter) so I don’t need the honey, but it is fun knowing that the honey came from hives all around the tea fields.

I did notice a remarkable difference between the very hot, freshly steeped tea and the tea that sat for a little while in the fair cup. Henceforth, I will most definitely be cooling this tea a bit before drinking, because the flavors really blossom and swell as it cools.

It was a lovely tea experience, very peaceful.


Pretty sure the setting and the company greatly enhanced the tea and the evening. Beautiful post.


Sounds lovely. I usually prefer tea once it has cooled a bit too.

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709 tasting notes

This is another from my second batch of samples from Teavivre (many thanks!) I was feeling a little Western Gong Fu-ish today, so steeped some up while watching the beau play Uncharted 2 with my brother – I LOVE that we can play games with my family even though we live a couple hundred KMs apart. It is a lovely way to spend the weekend, especially now that we have a headset and can talk the whole time – the internet is a wonderful thing!

Anyway, I’m using my gaiwan and wee double walled teacups, so these are small steeps (maybe 2 oz liquid for each of us per steep?) I am not terribly familiar with oolongs, but I have tried a couple Tie Guan Yin in the past and generally know what I think of them. I tried the regular TGY from Teavivre in my first batch of samples and enjoyed it so thought the honey soaked one could only be better (I love honey! IF I sweeten a tea, it is my preferred sweetener.)

First steep – 80 degrees, 30 seconds. The liquor is not as clear as a typical oolong, though it is a warm yellow shade, almost like sunset with a hint of ochre. The brew smells quite vegetal (a bit more than I might prefer) but there is a hint of sweetness in the aroma which I prefer. The leaves have barely unfurled at all! The taste is very different from the smell – I get sweetness from the honey and typical oolong taste underneath. VERY pleasant, if a bit mild.

Second steep – 85 degrees, 35 seconds. The leaves have opened a bit more, but not nearly at full leaf yet. This steep is not as powerfully sweet from the honey (I assume most of it will dissolve in the first couple steeps) but neither is it a very powerful TGY. Another nice steep, but a bit muted. The beau says this steep tastes more of oolong.

Third Steep – 85 degrees, 45 seconds. Leaves are almost entirely opened now and I imagine most of the honey to have dissolved. This is a bit more vegetal than the first two and the sweetness is more in the aftertaste, like a taste memory. This steep really shows the quality of the TGY underneath the honey and I like it! The beau says this is definitely the best steep and I would tend to agree with him.

Fourth Steep – 85 degrees, 1 minute. This will be my last, as it is getting warm in our apartment as the sun comes out and I hate feeling too hot! The aroma has lost all sweetness and has a bitter/vegetal smell, but the taste is not as powerful as the aroma would have me believe. There is still a bit of honey sweetness underneath the sip and lingering in the aftertaste.

While this could easily go a couple more rounds, I need a timeout for some cold water. This was a lovely experience, I think I might even prefer this to the ‘regular’ TGY. If nothing else, it is a nice change from the usual. The third steep in particular was really nice and balanced the honey and oolong the best. Thanks again Teavivre for a lovely treat!


It looks like you had a better time with this tea than most people. Not the rating but the honey part. Maybe Teavivre is making adjustments. Mine came gooped up with honey and it was pretty hard and strong. Not to my liking. This is a good comment on why having samples and feedback can help a company improve product!


For this tea, usually I will use 100ºC to brew it. If I use Gaiwan style, I’d like to rinse the tea first for about 5s, then 15s for the second time, and add an additional 5 to 10s to the following steeping times. I guess this is something related in brewing temperature.


I find I am pretty sensitive to bitterness/astringency so I tend to steep teas a little differently than other people. Perhaps the temp/time combo allowed the honey to pair the tea without one dominating the other. I’m just really glad I got to try it, it was a really good tea time! : )

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160 tasting notes

I bought this a while back, and have had a few times now. I keep putting of reviewing it because the experience was so different to what I was expecting. Either way, I bought a bunch of it, so it is about time that I write something about it.

The tea comes in little individual serving packages which in turn are double packaged to protect the tea inside. Like most people have already mentioned, it is quite a shock when you open the little package and are faced with a moist and sticky little bunch of tea. When Teavivre says honey, they really meant it. The odd part is that I expected it to give off a rich honey scent, but I only smelled Oolong. I even ventured far enough to taste the sticky liquid, but it lasted like a vaguely sweet Oolong, still not getting any honey.

Also, each little packet is good for a 8oz cup of tea. If you add any more water than that it is too watered down for my taste. So I used two little packets for my 16oz teapot and ended up with a yellow golden brew. The scent was rich and mineral. To me Oolong scent is similar to smelling a lake, that is the sort of mineral that I am hinting at. It still had a tiny bit of latex to the scent, like the last Oolong I had from Teavivre, but it was definitely less prominent. Surprisingly, a bit of honey scent snuck into the brew. I was pleasantly surprised. I absolutely need for something called Honey Oolong that is actually sticky to smell like honey, at least when it is brewed!! :)

The first brew is mostly mineral with a hint of honey. But more than a honey flavor it is a vague honey sweetness (I hope that made sense). I was expecting the honey to be in your face yelling “Here I am!” but I got the honey saying “Oh, hello, I am here chilling with the Oolong…”. I feel like the honey aspect is more of a hint of sweetness when the tea first hits your tongue more than a flavor itself. The aftertaste is more mineral than sweet. Though towards the end of the cup I got a bit of the sweet aftertaste that I love in Oolongs, just not very strong.

The second brew had no added sweet from. I actually enjoyed it more than the first. The taste was smoother and the transition from mineral to sweet aftertaste in every sip was

very evident. It is this magical transition that makes me love Oolong so much. I love the fact that the flavors transform as they travel through your mouth.

The third brew was a bit bland, I chugged it down mindlessly. It wasn’t bad, just not much there to sip slowly through.

Overall, I dis enjoy this tea. I had super high expectations, that just weren’t met. It is a tasty Oolong, and worth trying. I love the originality of it and the surprise you get when you first open it. I have had it a few times now and I still enjoy opening the small packets of sticky leaves. So far, I have loved Teavivre’s green teas, but their Oolongs aren’t quite my favorites. I really need to try their blacks teas! The sound sensational!


Same here. It may be that the taste profile was lost in translation for American palates. (U.S. and Canadian) .


My thoughts are similar… and due to expectations perhaps.


What an interesting tea! I might have to remember it and order some to try once I work my way through the current motherload of a shopping spree I just received.


I feel similarly to you – that my expectations were really high by the time I tried this tea, and that hurt my views on it a bit. Doesn’t help that I recently tried Verdant’s amazing tieguanyins, so probably was expecting something along those lines.


Yeah, expectations strangely can play a huge role in how much you enjoy something… Glad to know I am not the only one :)


It’s the honey. Who knows what the taste in honey is in different parts of the world? The biggest honey producer is the U.S. Maybe what the bees snack on is different too.


Bonnie- Perhaps… I live in Ecuador and so far the Honey I have tried in the US and here are pretty similar. I need to try Honey in more continents!

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1184 tasting notes

I have had this sample for a long time and just getting around to it now!
I used the whole sample package for my cup. This tea smells amazingly sweet and like a fresh meadow with flowers and honeybees.
The taste is very smooth, sweet, mostly floral with just a tinge of vegetal notes.
Resteep: boiling, 3min. The sweetness has really decreased and more of the TGY vegetal notes are coming through. This is wonderful and delicious.

I am really enjoying this tea. I love how oolongs taste so creamy and smooth, but aren’t “heavy” if ya know what I mean. Like a special treat.

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

I loved the version of this without honey. With honey sounds amazing!


Wow, this is an interesting tea. Will have to try sometime. Tea leaves packaged in actual honey in individual servings might make taking it to work easier.


Yes, the honey definitely adds a nice touch!
The individual sample packages make this tea very convenient!

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6768 tasting notes

This was unusual but AWESOME…here’s why…

I’ve never had an oolong that was soaked in Honey and vacuumed packed (not sure if that is the proper packaging term in this specific case but there was NO air in the package whatsoever). When I opened it the hand rolled oolong leaves were sticky with the honey it was soaked in…much like the texture of a Granola Bar or Rice Krispy Treat.

Because of the leaves being soaked in honey it contributed to a bit of a texture in the tea after it was infused.

The oolong itself was awesome and the honey stickiness turned into flavor was a great addition. It was velvety smooth and florally-sweet-honey-esque. It was unlike anything I have ever tried before!

Really unique offering! So glad I had the chance to try it!!!


The tea soaked in Honey sounds AWESOME! A Honey flavored black tea is one of my favorites so I bet I would like this. I am putting this tea on my shopping list.


This sounds amazing.

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1379 tasting notes

In raw form this tea is incredibly sticky and the honey glaze is very noticeable. The Oolong balls are dark and medium green in colour and they have a sweet and toasted but also floral scent.

Using my Gongfu teapot for this Tie Guan Yin with the hope to bring out the honey flavour in full.

Once steeped this tea is brown/yellow in colour and has a sweet and toasted honey aroma. Like a slice of honey loaf cake or honeyed cereal (been eating a lot of that recently and it reminds me very much of it).

Flavour is green and floral at first before the sweet honey melts everything into one super smooth and silky tone. It isn’t over the top sweet but compared to the average Tie Guan Yin it’s much sweeter and smoother and less thick and floral/woody. It’s honeyed without being pure honey is what I was trying to say. For a first steep it’s very nice.

The second steep shows a thicker toasted scent and more floral flavour. Honey is still present but not as sweet as the previous steep, partly because the thickness of the other Oolong flavours has grown. Still very nice, not sure if I prefer the first or second steep the most so far.

Side Note – The Oolong has now fully opened, from being what looked like a small 7g lot of balls to filling half my Gongfu teapot with large pieces of broken down leaves. The leaves themselves look very good quality ie no stems, discolouration.

My third steep is more floral then previously but less toasted so the sweetness is once again more noticeable. It still has a fair amount of flavour which is very pleasing and if you really wanted you could probably get another steep or two quite easily.

Overall I really enjoyed this tea, it was my first time trying any form of honey soaked tea and I can now say that in this case it worked very well. I browsed the Teavivre website in the interest of adding some to my ongoing cart but unfortunately it doesn’t look as if they sell this one any more. :(


That’s too bad. I remember these honey oolongs being really good.

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357 tasting notes

I purchased this tea as part of the flavor tea assortment last Fall, but with the way Teavivre packages it, I feel certain that it’s as fresh as the day it was packed.

This is a perfect tea for when I’m in the mood for an oolong with a subtle sweetness. Like other oolongs, this re-steeps very well, but it also differs from others I’ve tried in the past. It comes double wrapped in airtight packets and the tea leaves are rolled then bonded together by the honey in a single oolong ball.

When I saw the sticky oolong ball I expected the taste of honey to be front and center, but despite the honey stickiness, the sweetness is actually quite delicate. It’s more in the background and supports the flavor of the tea, rather than overwhelming it.

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863 tasting notes

This generous sample provided to me by Teavivre.

This is the best Monday ever, followed up by the longest weekend ever – I had clinicals of two 12 hours shifts that resulted in me having to get up at 5:30 AM both days. The wake up was the worst part by far – I suspect I would not have minded so much if I could have just done nights instead of days. As it was, I had no time for anything except sleep and shoveling in food that I can’t even really remember the taste of. Certainly it was not a weekend to brew tea.

But on this Monday (the best Monday ever since I have a day all to myself to relax), I can finally sit down and have a minute to myself. I had picked this tea ahead of time as the first brew of the day – I’ve never tried an oolong with any degree of sweetener and this piqued my curiosity.

The balls of TGY were stuck together with honey, as I assumed they would be, but it’s not as messy as you might think – they were stuck to a waxy paper insert and easily peeled off into my Breville basket. I could smell both the honey and the TGY on the dry leaf, and it was fantastic. The two enclosed vaccuum packed samples were brewed in my Breville in 500 ml. of water at the below temperatures.

This brewed up a cloudy greenish brown due to the honey, I suspect. First taste is surprisingly not very sweet – I still taste honey, but not the sweetness of it, if that makes any sense. I was worried about brewing the TGY at that high of a temperature but it is not bitter and astringent in the slightest. I get more of a roasted buttery flavor than floral from this particular TGY, which I like. The other TGY I tried from Teavivre was heavier on the floral and less so on the butter, so maybe it is the temperature difference?

Anyway, I really like this one. It is such a cleansing tea to be drinking as I appreciate the calm and quiet. I haven’t gotten to the 2nd cup in my Breville yet, but I’m wondering if the honey sweetness might be waiting for me there – I will update when I get there, and when I do a second steep. But for right now – it has been just what I needed today.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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6106 tasting notes

It occurred to me tonight that for whatever reason (ok, it’s because I have too much tea), I hadn’t yet made it through all my samples from Teavivre! So since I was craving oolong (and dessert), it seemed like a perfect tea to try. I used the whole, sticky package in my tiny glass teapot.

First infusion (~boiling/1:15)
Honey-sweet, with a lovely round, sweet oolong aftertaste. There’s just a hint of astringency coming through at the end – glad I didn’t steep it any longer. The sweetness is reminiscent of the honey flavour I got with Treasuregreen’s Emerald (Silver). I’m really enjoying this infusion! It is perhaps a touch on the light side, but that’s ok.

Second infusion (~boiling/2 min):
Definitely moving into a woody flavour here. Perhaps that’s the astringency – I hadn’t meant to steep it this long but was trying to multitask. The sweetness is gone, but I didn’t expect it to last for a second infusion. Aftertaste is lightly oolong. This isn’t bad, but it’s not what I was expecting.

I’m a bit disappointed – after the amazing first cup, I was expecting something a little better for the second. I do have another package of this one, so perhaps will try some different parameters – perhaps a shorter first infusion and similarly short second infusion would help. I can’t recall what the price is, but it’s hard for me to justify purchasing an oolong that really is only capable of one amazing infusion. Even though it really was so very delicious…

Thanks for the sample, Teavivre!

ETA: I just finished off the last of my second infusion, and feel like I need to revise my previous opinion, as I wonder if my tastebuds were tainted by either the first infusion or the chocolate bar I ate… the last sip was actually quite good! Yes, there was astringency, but chalk that one up to my error. I got a lovely honey oolong aftertaste, and aside from the astringency, it was actually quite nice. I still think it might be a bit pricey of a tea, but I may actually try a third infusion now. Also bumping the rating.

ETA again: Third infusion, boiling-ish water for about 1:45, is kind of woody/dark/nutty, as late steepings of oolongs tend to be for me. Not bad, and still that oolong aftertaste. Overall, I’d have to say that this is a perfectly fine oolong, but not one for me.

Boiling 1 min, 15 sec

a woody oolong? interesting!!
I need to go through my samples and see what I haven’t tried yet. They’re all mixed up :s


Perhaps I’m not describing it terribly well. It’s a familiar flavour I get from late steepings of oolongs. What makes this one special is the fabulous honey flavour of the first infusion, IMO. (Also, waiting for a train en route to field site sucks. Is it illegal to use my phone when parked on a road???)

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15113 tasting notes

Well anyone who follows me know by now that oolongs and I don’t generally get along. That being said, it’s been a while since i’ve had a straight oolong and this was my random teavivre tea for today! My first infusion was about 2 mins long and my first sip was not a happy place. I let it sit for a while and not that it’s cooled off it’s much nicer. It’s not as vegetal as i thought it would be, which is a plus in my books :)

It’s still an oolong, so it will never be my favourite but this is probably the closest i’ve come to enjoying a non roasted oolong. That distinctive oolong taste is still present, but it’s muted – possibly by the honey. There’s a sweetness present that is tasty.

After several steeps of this, i can at least admit that this was a much more pleasant oolong experience than some of my past tastings. Has it changed the way i feel about green oolongs? not really :) BUT i wouldn’t turn this away if someone offered me a cup. So overall i’d call this a success.

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