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Tie Kuan Yin

Organic Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess) with Honey from Teavivre

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Product Description:

Premium quality organic Ti KuanYin tea (Ti KuanYin) flavoured with organic honey

  • Grown and produced near Zhangzhou in Fujian province
  • Hand made into small, rolled up, jade colored leaves, then soaked in organic honey
  • Pale yellow-green colored tea when brewed
  • Delightfully sweet honey flavoured and aroma

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The photo above doesn’t really show this, but, the dry leaf is quite unusual – unlike any other Oolong I’ve ever encountered (or any other type of tea, for that matter!)  The tea is tightly vacuum-packed in beautiful purple foil pouches, and when I opened the package, there was another small liner protecting the tea … it almost looked like rice paper, but it is plastic.  After peeling away the plastic, I realized why it was there, because this tea is STICKY!  As in honey sticky!  The tightly wound pellets of Ti Guan Yin tea have been soaked in honey, and then processed in these packages to maintain their freshness.

After opening the package, I pondered for a moment about how I should brew the tea … in my Breville?  Or in my gaiwan?  Usually, when I steep Oolong, I steep it in my gaiwan, but, with flavored Oolongs, I make an exception.  But… ultimately, I decided to steep this in my gaiwan, because I figured with all this honey, it would be easier to clean out of my gaiwan than it would my Breville.

I did not rinse (or awaken) the leaves, because I didn’t want to lose any of that honey flavor.  The combination of the first two infusions are sweet and very honey-esque.  But, I am glad that the honey flavor does not mask the flavor of the Iron Goddess – which is slightly vegetative tasting, with a lovely floral note that seems to have been intensified by the honey soak.  This is incredibly smooth and is very easily consumed … not to mention quickly consumed!

The combination of the third and fourth infusion are not as sweet as the first cup, but still quite delicious.  There is a bit of astringency to this cup that I didn’t notice with the first, and I am noticing some of the sharper notes from the floral tones that were possibly hiding behind the sweet honey flavor in the first cup.  Still very delicious – this cup tastes more like what I would expect from Iron Goddess, and less like honey.  But while the honey is lighter, it does linger in the aftertaste – very nice!

My final cup of this tea (the combination of the fifth and sixth infusions) were very much like what I’d expect from a Tie Guan Yin – very flavorful, yes, but, not so much of a honey flavor is present.  The floral tones are not quite as sharp but are still quite strong and very lovely – reminding me a bit of orchid and lily.  There is a very slight grassy tone.

While I enjoyed my three cups of this tea hot, I find myself wondering how this tea might taste iced; combining all six infusions into one pitcher and then chilling it.  I suspect that the strong honey tones of the first two infusions would be softened by the other infusions, giving it just a soft, honey-esque sweetness with a beautiful background of traditional Tie Guan Yin flavors.  I may have to try that very soon!

Overall, I found this to be a very tasty and satisfying Oolong – from that very first infusion, until the last.