Tie Guan Yin (Tea Dao)

Tea type
Oolong Tea
Not available
Ash, Butter, Fruity, Vegetal, Biting, Bread, Chocolate, Dirt, Cinnamon
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Fair Trade, Organic
Edit tea info Last updated by Kaila
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 15 sec 5 g 6 oz / 188 ml

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7 Tasting Notes View all

  • “12-12-12 Whoopie! My youngest turned 40 today! Good Grief! None of you have gotten to that place in your own lives, (you’re still young) but let me tell you…it’s odd, sitting in a French...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thanks Bonnie for sharing this tea with me. Dry – Sweet, VERY aromatic floral, TGY characteristic bitter-sweet floral, fruity and cinnamon. Wet – Vanilla, Sweet corn, floral-fruity, nutty, mineral,...” Read full tasting note
  • “Thank you to David and Verdant Tea! This sample came with the David’s Choice sampler. This tea is fantastic. I’m really having trouble criticizing anything about it. Yet, oddly enough, I’m also...” Read full tasting note
  • “QuaranTEAn Tea #2 Sipdown! Stuck at home for the next week… figured I’d go through my teas while I clean/organize the house!” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea (Special)

‘Chinese Gift Tea’ printed on label, Dark Cherry Foil Packet with the words ‘Savoring Tea’ on a round decorated circle with floral and tea items drawn in it. Inner packet with Tie Guan Yin.
Wei Wei’s Favorite, Tea Dao

David’s Choice Label:
“Wei Wei’s Favorite Spring 2012 High Mountain Anxi Tieguanyin”

About Verdant Tea (Special) View company

Company description not available.

7 Tasting Notes

676 tasting notes

12-12-12 Whoopie! My youngest turned 40 today! Good Grief!

None of you have gotten to that place in your own lives, (you’re still young) but let me tell you…it’s odd, sitting in a French Restaurant, having a Birthday lunch of Crepes Breton with a woman you gave birth to long ago who’s 40 years old! Yikes! Kinda Strange!

So, I’m supposed to say all kinds of wonderful things about that, and about her. (I do that all the time, say wonderful things I mean here on Steepster!) It’s true.! 8 kids, she’s written 2 books that have been published, bakes bread…blah blah blah. Good stuff!

What I want to say is, that when I write about my great and caring daughter (and my son Aaron too), I’m the one who’s been on the receiving end of a miracle. They aren’t great people because of me.

I wasn’t always the best mother.

Sure I fed, clothed, housed my children and loved them…but I had a lack of self esteem and depression. I was a single mom and dated some guys that I should have stayed clear of. I was an emotionally needy, confused young mom. Not the person you think of here on Steepster.

I never did drugs, alcohol or beat my children, but sometimes they parented me, sad to say.

Do they blame me now? No.

My daughter has always said, “Mom…your mother had low self esteem so you caught it from her.”
Always, compassion. Always, an open heart. Annalisa- 12-12-12.

The Tea
I received this tea packet from David Duckler around my Birthday last May and saved it for a special occasion. He said this is the favorite tea of Wei Wei!

I prepared the tea in my Gaiwan.
Rinsed the emerald green Tie Guan Yin leaves quickly two times.

The perfume from the wet leaves was one of those rare experiences.
Powdery, sweet, very floral…carnation and orchid with honeysuckle
but not funeral flowers…not nauseating floral overload.

This was the best floral scent in the World! Love and life smells like this! It was breathtaking! If you were walking on the outskirts of heaven barefoot, the scent that would rise up would be this scent…I’m certain.

I took a sip of tea and the aroma was so wrapped up in the flavor that they were the same. Floral, incense, sweet and smooth with a little buttery mouth-feel.

No astringency, no dryness. No acidity or vegital flavor.
Pure ‘Garden of the Gods’!

Incredible Tea! Hot, warm, cold…the same. Gorgeous.

Oh Mr. Duckler…if you could get more of this tea for Verdant?!

Thank you David for this tea which has made this 40th Birthday celebration of my daughter Annalisa even more memorable.

Here’s a picture I took on the way home today of some Snow Geese on the frozen part of a small lake in Central Park. THOUSANDS come through here every year!!!

Whispering Pines Tea Company

This tea sounds AMAZING! :D I love your reviews. I enjoy that you enjoy life so much :) I’m absolutely in love with it – glad to see others loving it too!

I love the picture, but those are Canada Geese (Branta canadensis). Snow Geese are almost completely white other than having black primaries (wingtip feathers). Sorry, I’m a bird nerd…haha. :D

Hope tomorrow is just as wonderful, and I love the pics you include :)


i think you have done a great job with the kids. never doubt yourself. compassion from a child is the highest way of them saying you were great and the show the love for what you did for them. tell her happy birthday from us and she will have to have tea with us if we make it out to Colorado. i am sure she is just as proud of you as you are of her!


Oops on the geese…knew they were from Canada though and not Wyoming…hee hee. We do get the White morph and Blue morph Snow Geese. We even get Pelican’s in Summer!!! 378 species of birds are recorded in this County. (Actually being 45 minutes from Rocky Mt. National Park, there’s lots of wildlife in general).
Thanks mrmopar… Sometimes parents take all the credit for great kids and in my case, the credit goes to my kids for raising me! Love them! I was 20 when my son was born, so I think we grew up together! She does love tea!

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187 tasting notes

Thanks Bonnie for sharing this tea with me.

Dry – Sweet, VERY aromatic floral, TGY characteristic bitter-sweet floral, fruity and cinnamon.
Wet – Vanilla, Sweet corn, floral-fruity, nutty, mineral, faint cinnamon, buttery.
Liquor – Pale green.

1st steep – 10secs – Initially sugary sweet, vanilla, floral-mineral TGY taste that is well balanced not overwhelming. As I slurp, several notes appear but vanilla, sweet corn, butter and bittersweet floral are the most apparent. The sweetness is sugary or ‘clean’ at first but becomes more fruity/floral that lingers.

2nd steep – 15secs – Sweet, floral and mineral TGY taste that is well rounded and goes down smoothly retaining a lot of sweetness in the mouth and showing off some of the mineral and somewhat nutty notes. This taste lingers in the tongue and seems to travel to the back of the throat. Floral-vanilla sweetness lingers in the aftertaste.

3rd steep – 15secs – Sweet, nutty, floral bittersweet TGY taste that is very aromatic and pleasant, slightly creamy mouth-feel. As it goes down it is mineral and floral that becomes sweeter that resembles vanilla. The aftertaste is sweet and complex with notes that combine well.

Final Notes
I was able to several more steeps that were really enjoyable. What I liked about this tea is how well balanced it is. I think this is the trait I enjoy the most in good tea whether cheap or expensive, a well balanced tea is very enjoyable and even memorable.

Thanks again to Bonnie for sharing with me. I really liked this one, complex and subtle and overall very well well balanced. I’m sorry I took so long to review; but I’m kind of glad I did, since I had the time to truly sit down and enjoy it.

185 °F / 85 °C

Welcome back JC :-)


Hi! Glad you liked it!

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64 tasting notes

Thank you to David and Verdant Tea! This sample came with the David’s Choice sampler.

This tea is fantastic. I’m really having trouble criticizing anything about it. Yet, oddly enough, I’m also having trouble finding anything “new” in this tea. It’s a tieguanyin for sure and it gives you everything you’ve ever wanted in a tieguanyin. So why is this one amazing? Because it does every little thing it’s supposed to do perfectly and nothing more. Every tieguanyin aspect is empowered and bursts forth. You really get a feel for the leaves’ essence, which is brought out beautifully. It’s a masterpiece.

The dry leaves are in excellent condition and were stored very well. It was like trying to break into Fort Knox to get at these leaves. First David Duckler’s silver sample pouch, then another small vacuum-sealed purple gift pouch which I assume is from Wei Wei, and finally another folded over plastic pouch with the leaves. They smelled fantastic! Sweet, floral, green and fresh, with just a touch of lilac. They were very hard, rolled extremely tightly, and were quite large. Almost every single one had a touch of brown stem protruding from the dense light green to army green ball. The colors were quite consistent and had great, shining coloration.

When wet, the leaves expanded wonderfully. I always love checking on them right after the wash, when the creases of the leaves are glowing with a brilliant light green, juxtaposed to the now dark forest green of the curled leaf faces. Normally when I check the leaves, I tend to count or pick out the leaves that are completely whole. This time, I was counting the leaves that were incomplete. The smallest leaf chunk was about the size of a dime, and there were only 3 loose stems. Considering this contained the bottom of the sample, I’d say that’s quite impressive. Most leaves were 2.5 to 3 inches, a smaller pile was between 1 and 2 inches. Most leaf edges were intact and the veins were clear against the leaf face. Bruising was minimal, mostly around the edges, but about 3 leaves out of about 40 were very bruised. Otherwise, every leaf looked pretty much the same.

The wet leaf aroma was like candied soy beans (is this a thing?) and snap peas. They smelled extremely fresh and bright, with some darker undertones like over-boiled broccoli and stone. At some points, they became yeasty-smelling and biscuity. Much later on, they took on aromas of freshly cut grass, melon, and tiny hints of fresh mushrooms.

Steeping parameters: 100mL gaiwan, ~3.5g leaf, water temperature increased with steep number from 178-190 F.

Steep 1 (5"): Buttery sweet, classic tieguanyin, grassy, boiled greens, parsley, undertones of honeydew. Mouthfeel is light and creamy. Very light green, silvery liquor.

Steep 2 (12"): Increased parsley spice, biting vegetal flavors, increased boiled greens. Aftertaste is cool, refreshing, with a slight pinch of herbal spice. Liquor is slightly more green, still crystal clear, very minimal tea dust.

Steep 3 (16"): Tastes like tieguanyin in its essence. It’s very vegetal, rich, and tongue-tinglingly cool. The mouthfeel is even more spicy, especially on the tongue, while the rest sports a very minimal astringency and a returning vegetal aspect. After a sip, nearly the entire flavor profile returns on the exhale quite strongly. This steep has exceptional character and mouthwatering depth. Liquor has added yellow tints to the above coloration.

Steep 4 (25"): A perfect mesh between Jin Xuan and Tieguanyin. The mouthfeel fights between vegetal and milky smooth while the flavor exhibits both the grassy and savory spectrum. The aftertaste is more like very sweet zucchini and that lingering bubblegum taste after you chew all the flavor out of it. Normally not the most delicious thing, but it seems to work in this. There is also many more floral notes in this steep, mimicking the delicate lilac notes of the dry leaves’ aroma.

Steep 5 (30"): In line with the heavier notes in the wet leaves, and a deeper liquor color, the flavor becomes a bit darker and earthier here. Notes of moss and stone are quite apparent and give base to the lighter, greener notes of before. The body and aftertaste become more oolong-y compared to the flighty aromatics of green and white teas that had been present prior. After I finished drinking this steep, there were some nuances of fresh strawberries in the aftertaste.

Steep 6 (45"): Very sweet and honey-like. Small hints of tapioca in the undertones. Earthier flavors are slightly more noticeable, but mostly because the greener flavors have faded somewhat. This steep is much like the last, but just less potent. However, the strawberry flavor in the aftertaste is more pronounced.

This is where I deviated from my first tasting. Originally I did 2.5 grams of dry leaf in my gaiwan, but this time, I finished off the sample with my gaiwan, so it was something like 3-3.5 grams. Ummmm, these leaves are monstrous and thick. They pretty much revert back to what they were when they were picked right off the plant, so needless to say by this steep the lid of my gaiwan was resting on leaves, not porcelain. However, I must say I was happier with this ratio of leaves to water than the first time I tasted this tea. Much more impressive complexity and far more powerful flavors. Anyway, I plopped the leaves in my Yixing teapot (~12 oz) and poured just enough water to cover the leaves completely for the next few steeps. Besides, I wanted an excuse to give my Yixing pot a little treat. :)

Steep 7 (2’): This steep was one of my favorites both times I tasted this tea. In order of least to most apparent: “tieguanyin,” honey, buttered bread, grass, cream of spinach, parsley, tapioca. This time around, I got a sauteed mushroom flavor that showed up in the aftertaste as well that I really like, actually, even though I certainly was not expecting it.

Steep 8 (3’): More earthy than the last, with a similar taste, but with less complexity. Ahhh but it certainly is gooood.

Steep 9 (>5’): Just filled up the Yixing and let it sit. Came out pretty weak, but still very tasty.

For sure, an all time favorite tea of mine. I’m curious if anyone else had this in their David’s Choice samples. The picture is one I took with my phone for my own uses, so forgive the quality. :) Feel free to replace it with something better if anyone else has a sample of this.

185 °F / 85 °C

I’m so glad more people get to drink this tea! Bliss!



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726 tasting notes

QuaranTEAn Tea #2


Stuck at home for the next week… figured I’d go through my teas while I clean/organize the house!

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11 tasting notes

taste like nothing while you drink it but it will be sweet and bitter.

Flavors: Ash

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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3 tasting notes

i love this tea for just sitting writing essays. it’s not bitter, and I don’t think it’s actually capable of being so. it has a very delightful, earthy taste that i love in an oolong. it’s smell is unique and fresh.

Flavors: Biting, Bread, Chocolate, Dirt

Boiling 8 min or more 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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15123 tasting notes

i have too many teas. My goal was to be at 65 by the end of september but then people…you know who you are…decided i needed 90+ teas in my cupboard. And to here i am, at 176 today. So my mini goal for this weekend? Get down to 150. Easily doable if i get any time whatsoever to spend at home this weekend. This was one of those single cup sipdowns. I’m not generally a fan of oolongs, but this was a free sample in one of my verdant orders and is decent. Not enough for me to want it IN my cupboard, but enough for me to sit and drink and enjoy, versus pouring it down the drain after trying it :)

nice roasty feel to this one, smooth and unoffensive.


I feel you! I wanted to be lower than I am but then DAVIDs made a spiced pumpkin tea I love, and my frequent steeper points are redeemable in 4 days and I will have 150g of free tea (I think Butterfly Jasmine is in order!)


That’s what happens when you go and have gifting events. :)


you mean that’s what happens when they hear i’m under 100 lol


I am cackling. :D You should know better than to advertise that you’re under 100. ;)


Omg- fine I won’t tell you guys where I am until I get down to 50


See, that is a sound plan. :D

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