Ti Kuan Yin is the most famous of all organic oolong tea. This Fair Trade Certified organic Chinese tea is grown in China's Jiangxi Province. The balled emerald green to dark green organic loose leaf tea leaves yield a pale golden, smooth-bodied infusion with a complex aroma having accents of sweet flowers, rich greens and forest floor. The taste of the liquor is deeply vegetal with slight floral qualities. The characteristic "oolong glow" is nicely prominent. As with our other Chinese oolongs, our Ti Kuan Yin may be infused multiple times, with each infusion revealing a new nuance of this tea's complex flavor.
Please note: we recently increased the quantity of tea in our Ti Kuan Yin packages. Don't worry, we kept the price per serving the same and only increased the amount of tea in the bag.
Ingredients: organic Chinese oolong tea
Serving Size: one level teaspoon per 8 oz cup of water
Aubrey Says: Be sure to steep this tea more than once - one infusion will only scratch the surface.
Jeremy Says: A tea to be contemplated - very complex!
Posted by McKinley L. on 4th Jan 2017
This is a really interesting change of pace from what I normally drink (rich Chinese and Japanese greens, and more roasted oolong). It's very smooth and floral, with very little richness and almost not roasted or woody qualities. It's probably a tad too floral for my tastes, in fact, but that doesn't detract from its quality. Solid stuff if you're not a fan of roasted, grassy, or buttery teas, or if you usually drink teas blended with flower petals or floral fragrances.
Posted by Jay on 15th Dec 2016
This tea reminds me a great deal of Japanese oolong--not roasty-toasty, but more delicate and floral. Definitely floral--not quite jasmine, but maybe gardenia. Also definitely on the "green side" of the oolong spectrum, I think. Very good!
Posted by Eric on 15th Oct 2016
I tend to be critical of Tie Guan Yin because the quality can vary quite drastically.
This is the highest quality organic oolong I have found. There are some very expensive non-organic Tie Guan Yin that have a slightly more robust flavor, but this is the perfect balance of price and quality.
I couldn't recommend this tea enough!
Posted by Dave W. on 23rd Aug 2015
The aroma of the moist, steamy leaves inside the teapot have the characteristic floral qualities of a Ti Kuan Yin. As for the liquor, rather than being bold like some Ti Kuan Yins that I've had, this one's flavor is quite delicate. The mild aftertaste is similar to the sweet taste that lingers on the tongue after eating an artichoke. Longer steeping times will bring forth a moderate astringency that actually compliments the tea's sweetness quite well.
Posted by Unknown on 4th Mar 2015
I bought a 4oz of this tea at the start of Jan 2015. Its not early March, and I am almost done this tea. I had mixed impressions about this tea at first, but now got use to the best way to brew it, at least for myself.
This tea is a mild one. I may come across as a little plain, without much flavour. One can boost the taste by steeping it longer. Don`t bother with the gaiwan: I use one 0.5 to 1 tablespoon per cup (mug). Use 80-85C water. Good for 2-3 steeps. A nice subtle taste of tieguanyin will come out.
After you`re done, take a look at the leaves. They`re broken at the edges, some edges with red tinge. Visible bruise marks that hints at the tea`s processing. This tea ain`t fake. Seems like the flavour is real, though mild, and the taste comes from some degree of honest processing.
Worth a try.
Posted by Ken on 24th Feb 2015
I'm transitioning from coffee (one cup per day) to tea. I ordered a few sampler sets from Arbor Teas including an oolong sampler. There are two, of the four, that have captured my interest, This tea is one of them. The brewed tea is very light in color which was my first surprise, The second, and biggest surprise, was the floral fragrance, first, as I brought the cup to my mouth and then, the first sip confirmed the floral flavor! I have always thought that the people who attributed these kinds of descriptions to coffees, teas, and wines (fruity, floral, rock candy, mixed berries, etc) were prone to suggestion. In the case of this tea I can now join the club of people who can describe a specific quality, in this case "floral." I wonder what happens next?!
Posted by Unknown on 28th Jan 2014
This is by far my favorite tea so far. I love the unobtrusive floral flavor. It is easy to handle and you get a complex and refreshing taste. I had a great experience with steeping times around 2mins.
Posted by Unknown on 1st Oct 2013
Back in 2003, my family traveled to China's Jiangxi Province for the joy of adopting our daughter. Every where we ate I ordered Hot Tea with my dinner. It was the best Hot Tea that I have ever had. Matter of fact, it was the first time I had ever had Oolong tea. I went to a tea house and had our interpreter ask for the tea leave that we have been having for dinner. She stated that it was Ti Kuan Yin and it is from Jiangxi Province. I bought 3 lb and you can imagine that it lasted a long time. I have not been able to find this tea since we have been back to the States until now. It has a light green color and a lighter taste then darker Oolong. I am so glad to have finally find this tea again without having to travel again.
Posted by Lauren on 7th Apr 2013
This reminds me of a green tea, and has a bit too much of a vegetal taste for my liking. Not a bad tea, but not anything special.
Posted by Unknown on 27th Jan 2013
very nice earthy tea - suggest adding a bit more than the suggested amount though
Posted by Alexandra on 11th Sep 2012
I spent the summer of 2011 living in China and developed an appreciation for Chinese teas. Ti Kuan Yin is like nothing I'd ever had before, and after I finished my stash that I brought back from China, I needed to find another source.
I'm pretty sure that this tea is better than the leaves I brought back, and I love that they're organic. You can actually drink the first brew instead of having to discard it because of the pesticides. Love this stuff!
Posted by Joseph Paulson on 17th Jul 2012
The dry leaf is surprisingly light green for an Oolong. Some leaves are tightly rolled, some less so. I worried this tea might be under-oxidised. But all my fears went out the kitchen window once I poured hot water into the teapot. It brews a vibrant green color, serene to behold. With a clean, refreshing aroma. It's well rounded in the mouth. A very smooth tea with a bright finish. An enjoyable example of what one would expect from a quality Ti Kuan Yin. The fact that it is organic, and fair trade to boot, only make it more enjoyable.
Posted by Lukasz M. on 7th Mar 2012
After going through a bulk size of the Makaibari Estate oolong tea, I wanted to treat myself and buy the bulk size of the more expensive Ti Kuan Yin. Much to my surprise, the higher price did not equate to a better tea. In fact, I was very disappointed in this tea. I have finally finished up my bulk size container of it and I'm glad to be moving on to another tea. With respect to aroma, this oolong has a strange shellac, shoe-polish scent prior to steeping. It comes off unnatural in my opinion. Luckily, the strange aroma does not carry over to the flavor. Instead, the flavor is very dull, stale, and cardboard like. Since I always do multiple infusions of tea, I often found myself overcompensating for the lack of flavor by adding 2-3 times the amount of tea I would normally add. I can't say much else about it. It's just boring and a disappointment. I would not recommend it.
Posted by Anne on 3rd Oct 2011
The description is very fitting, floral yet forest floor is what this tastes like. Very complex and soothing, it tastes like it has the power to heal. It's not vegetal like greens nor is it bitter. The first infusion seems to be the best, but all are delicious.
We at Arbor Teas firmly believe that tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. With that being said, here are some recommendations to get you started, but please remember you can make adjustments based on your own personal taste.
There are three main considerations when brewing tea: quantity of tea, water temperature and steeping time.
Quantity of tea: one level teaspoon per 8 oz cup of water
Water temperature: use water that has been heated until the first bubbles begin to rise from the bottom of the pot (195° F)
Steeping time: 4-7 minutes
Tip #1: Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may impart a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.
Tip #2: Keep in mind that brewing your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time matters! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea.
Learn more from our step-by-step guides on how to brew loose leaf tea, how to make iced tea, and how to make tea lattes. And don’t forget to check out our Eco-Brewing Tips, too!
There are five significant components found in all tea from the plant camellia sinensis: essential oils, which are the source of tea’s delicious flavor and aroma; polyphenols, which are antioxidants that provide the tea’s brisk flavor and many of its health benefits; phytonutrients, which are small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids including L-theanine (a very rare molecule that has been found in only three sources including camellia sinensis!) ; enzymes; and methylxanthines, which are a family of alkaloids that include caffeine. Each of these components work differently in the human body and a full description is best left to a medical journal. However, recent research exploring the potential health attributes of tea is leading many scientists to agree that tea, may contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Health Benefits check here.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Caffeine check here.
According to legend, the name Ti Kuan Yin came from a Qing Dynasty Emperor who became very ill, and no remedy could cure him. One day an advisor to the court (from Fujian) shared some of his homegrown oolong tea with the Emperor, who was miraculously cured. Upon his recovery, the Emperor named this tea "Ti Kuan Yin," which translates to "Iron Goddess Of Mercy". The Emperor declared that the tightly rolled and well-baked tea leaves resembled iron and had the healing powers of the Buddhist Goddess Of Mercy (Kuan Yin).
In China, tea is often brewed using the meditative Gong Fu method. This very formal, ritualized approach to tea preparation dates back to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644 AD). The term "Gong Fu" refers to skill gained through practice - expertise derived not from learning but experience. While the term "Gong Fu" could signify the serious practice of any art form, such as the martial art of related name (Kung Fu), Gong Fu Cha refers to the elaborate preparation of tea using miniature Yixing pots and cups. Yixing teaware is named for the purple clay it is made from, which hails from Yixing in China's Jiangsu province. Everything in Gong Fu service is small and delicate, placing emphasis on the elegance of the tea. Oolongs are the preferred tea in the Gong Fu ritual; they are steeped multiple times to highlight the evolution of taste as the leaves unfurl.
For information on other traditions or to submit your own tea tradition visit our Tea Traditions section.