Five Year Aged Tieguanyin

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Oolong Tea
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From Verdant Tea

We first studied Tieguanyin under Wang Huimin, a lifelong lover of oolong who grew up as her farmer friends were all switching from roasted Tieguanyin to the newer greener tieguanyin. Wang Huimin remembers that this switch was made with great deliberation as more and more farmers realized how much natural flavor their tea had without extra processing The creamy floral notes were celebrated as the natural reflection of the soil in Anxi.

This Five Year Aged Tieguanyin is an exciting and unique offering in that it manages to preserve the entire spring flower and fresh grass essence of the original leaf, all while tempering the flavor with darker, more grounded notes. Most aged Tieguanyin is pan fired again and again to bring out dark caramel notes. This is not a dark roasted tea in any sense.

The aroma of the dry leaf hints at both licorice root and ginseng, with potent wheatgrass notes that evoke early summer. The wet leaf takes on a potent and tangy quality, like ruby port wine.

The port wine notes are a perfect prelude to the dark lotus florals, and the muscovado brown sugar sweetness. It is miraculous to see the florals preserved so wonderfully throughout aging and tipped towards the more quiet and grounded side of the flavor spectrum. In later steepings, creamy texture builds in the body and a rounded lychee fruit profile dominates and shifts towards an intense juiciness. The aftertaste lingers with peppery notes of Tuscan olive oil and slightly bready malt qualities, asserting the complexity that age has brought to this tea.

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32 Tasting Notes

3294 tasting notes

I’ve been working my way through last February’s TOMC, drinking cups of this & the other selections. The initial aroma of this tea is sweet & fruity, kind of like baked bananas with caramelized brown sugar on top. The tea itself is pleasant, with some floral taste, a creamy feel & some fruity qualities. I’ve reviewed it before, probably much better than today.

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2201 tasting notes

Sipdown, 149. Since I just had the ten year aged TGY from the reserve club yesterday, I decided to have a gongfu session with this sample today to compare. This is a much more traditionally aged TGY, having been pan roasted at various points in its processing. I found this tea kind of lackluster brewed western style, so I’m interested to see how it plays out this way.

At first, the first steep smells very similar to the western brew. In comparison to the TGY from yesterday, it has a light but distinct roasted note, but more like roasted greens than toasted bread. But the flavor has a light sweetness to it, and it is more complex. There are notes of roasted kale and very faint florals, like the memory of a flower.

For me, this is one of those teas that has a intriguing, tasty first steep, and then subsequent steeps are kind of boring. I used to have that problem with most teas I brewed gongfu, but I have gotten better at the process. I still often fall so in love with the first steep of a TGY that everything afterward is somewhat disappointing, although with really fantastic TGYs there is less of a fall-off. The later steeps of this tea were fine but not really my style. They reminded me of a TGY that I bought in Beijing when I first arrived; very traditional (as opposed to the newer green TGYs), but I got bored with it after a while. I took this through 6 steeps before I gave up. Glad I got to try it, though.

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1434 tasting notes

I wasn’t aware that oolong Saturday was a thing, but I’ve spent the last +10 hours drinking up this sample, so I sort of participated unknowingly?

This oolong isn’t bad- it’s characteristically floral, with a good dose of sweetness and a peppery aftertaste. The first empty cup had a distinct brown sugar aroma. There’s something kind of malty about it too, with some notes you’d find in a barely or wheat tea. Eating oat bran while drinking this magnified that note. The second steep tasted like oil had been mixed in. Bouts of creaminess come through in some of the steeps.

The third and forth steeps were enjoyed (I use that term loosely)cold in a juice-flavored travel mug my mom insisted I take with me to the movies today. She even poured the the tea using the glass gongfu herself- the first time she’s ever used it. She was extremely excited to do it too, which was sweet. That’s one good memory I’ll have with this tea.

Edit: I’m still drinking this and every once in a while I get banana peel. Is that strange? I guess it’s the tea’s way of telling me I should stop drinking it.

Second Edit: Things are starting to get interesting. The floral and wheat notes have receded somewhat, allowing for more sweetness. It’s mainly brown sugar but there’s something fruity too.

Terri HarpLady

Oolong saturday? Is that a thing?


I was unaware too and was wondering why OMGsrsly decided to drink five oolong teas today. Then I saw this thread:


Because I’m ridiculous? :D


I’d say you’re special and determined. I like oolong quite a lot but I don’t think I could do what you did today :)


You resteeped this one 5 times, didn’t you? That’s determined too. I will resteep once or twice but that’s usually all I will commit too. And if it’s from Davids or something like that, I’ll toss it after.


Yeah, I’m a little tea-drunk. If I stay home to do laundry tomorrow, I’ll drink even more of them. If I go to my friends house, she only has a microwave as her stove is broken. Haha. No tea there.


I’ve actually technically resteeped this 10 times now, with two separate batches in different temperatures today, but I’m trying not to count and gave up writing about it in my note..


That is seriously amazing.


I probably fixate on oolongs in an unhealthy way. I want to know when they’ll stop tasting like “things” but I usually end up with a headache before I get close to that point.


I though the post was so funny, start an Oolong Saturday to follow up Black Friday! Should we start a Green Sunday ???? Oh, why not!

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1186 tasting notes

Finally trying this sample this morning, it was a free one from Verdant a while ago, thanks!

So it was quite the battle to brew this tea this morning, maybe it’s still too early, I was also up a lot last night from drinking Laoshan black before bed haha my bad! So yeah, I put the entire sample except 1 tsp to try Western style later in my gaiwan, did one rinse and poured the first cup fine, it steeped about 5 seconds. Now, these leaves expand FAST. I didn’t realize this, and the first cup I poured wasn’t quite full, so I filled the next gaiwan a bit fuller. But the leaves expanded and I burnt my finger really bad because liquid leaked out the top when I tried pouring! So after yelling in pain and running around for a bit, the tea had steeped at least a minute, and I finally poured it out, not in my cup to risk burning again, but down the sink. :( but I preservered lol, and I quickly made another cup and filled it up a lot less and had that one for me (bf got the first cup).

So sigh, now I have a burnt finger, and I wasted quite a bit of the tea’s potential with the long steep, but guess what, it still tastes really good!! This is quite a different tea than any I’ve had before. It actually reminds me of the ginseng oolong I got from DAVIDsTEA a while ago, it has the green tieguanyin taste but with an added sweetness in the aftertaste. This sweetness, though, is not artificial, it is very floral! I’m thinking so far I mostly get lotus and muscovado, maybe the texture is a bit olive oily, like Master Han’s black tea a bit. A very interesting tea! Oh, and the boyfriend said the first cup was really good, he is ready for more of this tea, so another win! Thank you Verdant for this free sample! I will enjoy a few more cups, and hopefully not burn my fingers in the process. I don’t think this is a re-order, as so far I still like dark roasted oolongs the best, but it was nice to try!

ETA – The next couple of steepings were much more roasty tasting, I much prefer this to the sugary aftertaste. It is still there, but not nearly as strong and ginseng-like. Still not my favorite oolong, but the roastier profile makes it taste more like a roasted florally oolong which is nice. No rating for now as this is a very good tea, just not quite to my tastes. And my messed up steeping from burning my fingers might be affecting the flavor a bit as well.


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6106 tasting notes

Another Verdant sample that I’m just getting around to trying. I discovered that my sample pack of this was not properly sealed, so the whole time I’ve had it, it has been sitting totally exposed to the air :( I’m hoping this won’t affect it, but I guess I probably will never know.

Anyhow, I also followed the Verdant instructions for this one, using 1 tbsp of tea for 8 oz. water, and rinsing the leaves once before a 30s infusion. The resulting brew has a toasty aroma that reminds me of other aged oolongs I’ve previously had (notably the other Verdant ones). I don’t know how long the other two were aged… well, actually, they were roasted. Maybe they weren’t aged at all? I have no idea. They smell the same, anyway.

Flavourwise, this one also tastes much like those other oolongs. Creamy, smooth, and lightly roasty. It’s more the sort of tea I’d turn to when I wanted something warm and comforting, than when I wanted an oolong fix. It’s tasty, but I don’t know what the difference between it and other similar oolongs is, and being that I already have good-sized amounts of two of them, I probably don’t need more of a third.

More notes on additional infusions to come.

ETA: Second infusion (1 min) was pretty darn delicious. Similar flavour profile. Third infusion (2 min) is ok, but losing flavour. I’ll try a fourth and see how it goes, but 3 might be it.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

Funny that you had this today! I’m on my 3rd steep! Ha! Will write tasting note in a bit. :)

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15103 tasting notes

have also been sipping on this one tonight while i spent some time getting some thing organized. Overall not a bad little tea, but it’s right in there with my other general feelings on oolongs.

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1271 tasting notes


I’m baking up a storm for tomorrow’s Canadian Thanksgiving celebration. This morning I was making desserts that could be made the day before: pumpkin pie spice fudge and nanaimo bars.

I have a sample of this tea and I really wanted an oolong, so I steeped it up in my yixing pot while I baked and cleaned the kitchen. It’s surprisingly lighter than I thought it was going to be, with a nice buttery flavor. Actually, very similar to that nanaimo bar custard filling, though not as sweet. I forgot my tea steeping twice, so my last steepings got some astringency and mushroomyness.

Oh man, I want some nanaimo bars! DROOOLLL
(lol, I seriously smuggled 3 cans of Bird’s Custard powder from Canada just so I can make nanaimo bars in the US)


What is a Nanaimo bar? Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!


You can’t find Bird’s in the States? So weird! Would you be able to share your Nanaimo bar recipe? No one in my family ever makes them, and I don’t totally trust the internets. :)

Oolong Owl

I use this recipe
BUT double (or add an extra half) the middle custard layer – doubling it makes it similar to store bought ones, but taste better since they are homemade.

No Bird’s Custard powder in the US unless ya go searching at like a world market, and it’s not cheap there.

Bonnie, Nanaimo bar’s are a Canadian no bake, layered dessert and crazy rich. It’s a layer of chocolate/ graham/ coconut / nuts, a custard icing layer, then topped with melted chocolate.

Terri HarpLady

…drooling…wow! Of course, I’m allergic to half the ingredients, but it still sounds delicious to me! Happy Canadian thanksgiving! :)


Awesome! Thanks. :)

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818 tasting notes

I just enjoyed three steeps of this. It really reminds me of Butiki’s 1991 aged oolong, but I think I prefer Butiki’s. There was just more distinct and interesting flavors there. Maybe it’s like wine…the older the better?! This one is similar, in that it’s thick and smooth, but roasty. Overall, enjoyable, but nothing stands out to me.

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4843 tasting notes


A really pleasant Oolong. I love the complexity of this Tieguanyin. Sweet and exotic florals, slightly vegetative (on the grassy side of vegetative), a lot of warmth to this Oolong as well. Later infusions start to deliver creamy notes (but not really what I’d call buttery.)

A really interesting and unique Tieguanyin. I liked it.

Here is my full-length review of this one:

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106 tasting notes

This Tieguanyin had nothing special to it and it was frankly no better than TGYs that cost 1/2 as much. I love Verdant but this one didn’t quite hit the spot for me and rating reflects cost as compared to other comparable TGYs.

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