drank Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas
57 tasting notes

I recently ordered several samples from Adagio and as a fan of TKY’s I had to place a sample of this in there. The tea comes in a nice foil Ziploc bag with Adagio’s logo and short instructions on how to brew. I was pleased when the sample size was about an ounce, as most tea vendors that offer samples give you much less than half an ounce.

The dry leaves have the typical TKY look, dark jade green with splotches of lighter green in between, I also noticed some brownish spots but nothing too prevalent. The leaves were tightly curled up, firm, and slightly oily. The smell of the dry leaves was slightly floral but it had a slight unpleasant metallic smell. Not too strong, subtle actually, but still noticeable that was enough to bother me, maybe old tea?

Anyways, I brewed this tea following the suggested directions, using 195F water and 3 min steep time. As with all my Chinese teas, I brewed this using a Gaiwan.

This gave me a bright yellow green cup with a slight flowery aroma, but something was off, the aroma had an “old” smell to it. Usually TKY’s have a distinctive floral aroma and this one had it too (although not as strong as others) but it also had another, again subtle yet noticeable, off aroma that bothered me. I can’t describe it in other words other than “old tea” aroma. Taste wise the tea was ok. Very Light in taste, lightly floral, and perhaps even a slightly creamy finish. In my second and third cup, the aroma slightly cleared up but the “offness” was still there. Flavor remained mostly unchanged. On the 4th and 5th cup, taste became “greener” and lighter. the 6th cup was very light in taste, so I ended the brewing there.

The wet leaf revealed few stems, medium sized leaves, and most leaves had one form of damage to them.

Overall, since I received almost an ounce worth of sample, I experimented a lot with this tea with different brew times and techniques(gongfu) but flavor/aroma “offness” was still there. Maybe I got a bad batch or it was a sample that was tucked away for a long time and they decided to send it to me, but let’s just say I did not really enjoy drinking this tea (first few infusions were terrible, but becomes drinkable/slightly enjoyable in the later ones as the aroma clears up) I may purchase another sample in the far future just to confirm what I think about this tea, but as of right now I would not purchase this tea.

*after reading some reviews, seems that maybe I did get an old sample… shame.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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SoCal native and Tea addict.

Looking to try every single type of tea the world has to offer.

I’m not too fond of flavored tea or blends, but every now and then, there will be one that I like.

I enjoy all types of tea, but my absolute favorites are Japanese Greens and Oolongs.

I am much more familiar with Chinese and Japanese teas. I’m looking to get in to Korean tea next and then Indian/Ceylons. Herbals are good too, but I don’t pay much attention to them (except rooibos).

Ti Kuan Yin (or Tie Guan Yi, whichever you prefer) Is one of my favorite teas. I’m trying to taste many offerings from different vendors to find the absolute best batch I can find.

My “Tea-Dream” is to one day make a cultural-tea trip to China, Taiwan, and Japan.

Ratings Guide

0 – 19 = Bad.
20 – 49 = Meh.
50 – 59 = It’s Ok.
60 – 69 = I like it, but…
70 – 79 = Good.
80 – 89 = Very Good.
90 – 100 = Amazing.


Los Angeles, CA

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