Organic Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea

Smooth-bodied infusion with notes of sweet flowers, rich greens and forest floor

fair trade certified certified organic
Organic Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea
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Organic Ti Kuan Yin Oolong Tea

Backyard Compostable Tea Packaging

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.

Ingredients: organic and Fair Trade Certified Chinese oolong tea

Origin: Wuyuan Xitou Tea Farmers Association, Jiangxi Province, China

Organic Tea from Jiangxi Province, China

Jiangxi, located on the Eastern side of China, is surrounded by mountains on three sides and sits comfortably in a subtropical climate, making it an excellent place for growing tea. As a whole, tea isn’t a large export from this part of China, but in the north of Jiangxi tea production has become an important part of the agriculture. The Jiangxi WuYuan Xitou Tea Farmers Association reflects the transition of a society from governmental control to democratic processes and market economy. Once state-owned, WuYuan Xitou’s ten tea gardens are now owned by individual farmers who have collectively assembled to make up the farmers association that became Fair Trade certified in 2004.

Steeping Instructions


At Arbor Teas, we believe tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. We’re happy to make recommendations to get you started, but don’t hesitate to experiment! When brewing your tea, your main considerations are tea quantity, water temperature, and steeping time. We recommend oolong teas to be steeped for 4 to 7 minutes in water heated to a just about boiling (approximately 195 degrees F). For the best flavor, use fresh water whenever possible. Try not to steep your tea longer than necessary, as you’ll extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves. If you want a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea. And don’t forget to re-steep your tea leaves to get the most out of your leaf!

Looking for more info? Check out our How-To Guides and Eco-Brewing Tips!

Staff Perspectives

  • Lea

    "I steep this multiple times to bring out all of the flavors this tea holds."

  • Sarah

    "Ti Kuan Yin is one of my favorite Oolongs! It has never failed to deliver an aromatic and delicious cup of tea!"

  • Aubrey

    "Be sure to steep this tea more than once - one infusion will only scratch the surface."

Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Tea

Like all true tea, oolong tea offers many potential health benefits. Research has found that tea (Camellia sinensis) can have many positive effects on human health, including improved cardiovascular function, cancer risk reduction, improved immune function, improved oral health, and help with weight management. Tea is also full of polyphenols, which are a class of antioxidant that help your body maintain homeostasis and balance your stress levels.

For more information about the health benefits of oolong and other types of tea, and for direct sources of the above information, check out our Tea Health Benefits page!

Please note: the information above is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Ti Kuan Yin Lore and Chinese Gong Fu Method

Ti Kuan Yin Lore

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 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, cups and tea pets (small clay figurines). 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. Balled 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 even more information about this and other traditions, visit our Tea Traditions Page!

Customer Reviews

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  • 5
    An Evolving Delight

    Posted by Catherine Kleimeier on 2nd Feb 2024

    This is my first ever oolong, and I think I've fallen in love! The aromas are complex and not too subtle, like the best green tea I've had times two. The flavors evolve with each steep, from a sweet and rose-like floral with vegetal undertones like delicate bok choy to a richer, more "green tea-like" flavor of sweet asparagus stems. I'm surprised by how forward the gentle floral notes are; I love it!

  • 3
    Not an oolong connoisseur

    Posted by Skye on 17th Jan 2024

    I’ve been taking advantage of Arbor’s samples to work my way through all the different teas on offer. I admit, my primary experience with oolong was at Chinese restaurants so I’m not really able to assess how this tea compares to other Ti Kuan Yins. I will say the the flavor is way more complex than a mass market bagged oolong (as I would expect) and the leaves deliver on a surprising number of steepings. Even when the leaves are almost steeped out, they still deliver fragrance and flavor. As others have mentioned, this tea has moments of leaning towards green or white teas in its flavor profile, while still being distinctive. That being said, I’m not sure I love it enough to buy a full sized bag. Very glad I tried it, though.

  • 4

    Posted by Haley D on 9th Jan 2024

    Still figuring out how to brew this one as I am used to darker oolong but it is good! Light, not bitter, and reminds me of green tea.

  • 5
    My favorite oolong from Arbor Teas

    Posted by David Wonnacott on 9th Aug 2023

    I don't know enough about oolong to inform others, but I particularly enjoy this one.

  • 5
    The third steep is where is at

    Posted by Jeremy Webber on 12th Jun 2023

    This is a lighter Oolong that is just delightful. The flavor build and for me reaches it’s peak after the third steep.

  • 5
    Worthy of it's namesake

    Posted by AZ on 5th Nov 2021

    This Ti Kuan Yin has a subtle flavor of sweet honey, nectar, and vegetal undertones. Almost like an amalgamation of Silver Needle and mild Chinese green. Pleasantly surprised at the complexity and nuanced notes that dance across the palate with each infusion. I enjoy teas that not only deliver a delicious cup, but also carry a healing aura and this one has both. Will be grabbing a bulk bag for sure.

  • 4
    Almost perfect

    Posted by Bill Buchanan on 4th Apr 2021

    I love this tea. In fact Ti Kuan Yin is my favorite of all oolong teas. So the only thing going against this one being a perfect 5 star? I have one in my collection that is better! Were it not for that competition, this one would easily be top shelf.

  • 4
    Everyday Oolong

    Posted by Callie Macaluso on 11th Feb 2021

    Ti Kuan Yin is like an old friend you come home to - it's delicious and earthy and stands up well to re-steeps, comforting in its simplicity and familiarity.

  • 5
    Ti Kwan Yin lives up to her compassion for all

    Posted by Unknown on 18th Mar 2019

    Just like Kwan Yin to shower us with such a nice tea. Two immersions and still lovely. We'll order again and again.

  • 5
    Classic oolong

    Posted by Stevie Preis on 23rd Jul 2018

    Anyone into oolong knows of iron goddess and you can never go wrong with it.

  • 3

    Posted by wendy woodcock on 20th Apr 2018

    After having my first couple glasses I would have to say it has a nice smooth vegetal tea taste in my opinion. Does not leave a bitter after taste. I would refer it to anyone who was looking for a simple green oolong flavor.

  • 3
    Not my favorite brand for this oolong

    Posted by Jennifer H on 15th Apr 2018

    I really enjoy this "greener" oolong, but was disappointed in Arbor's version. Seemed good quality, but not the depth of flavor of my preferred brand. But for nearly all other types of tea I drink, which are many, I strongly prefer Arbor - this and the golden Yunnan are the only exceptions.

  • 4
    Great Tea

    Posted by Debbie Shipley on 8th Jan 2018

    One of my favorites and coming back for more.

  • 3

    Posted by Daniel Vondrak on 15th Dec 2017

    This is not the best Ti Kuan Yin I have tried, but it is a simple tea with a mild flavor that steeps well multiple times. I was hoping it would be more floral and flavorful, but it is actually quite bland.

  • 1
    Extremely bitter and acidic

    Posted by Christian on 17th Nov 2017

    I wanted to like this tea, I really did. It is a good price for organic tie guan yin, but I've tried brewing this tea with almost boiling water, cold brew, and everything in between, for times varying between 30 seconds and 7 minutes, and no matter what, it is extremely, and I mean extremely, bitter and acidic. Avoid this tea!

  • 3
    Light tasting

    Posted by Debbie Shipley on 17th Oct 2017

    This is a very light tasting Oolong tea. I have to say not one of my favorites I prefer a stronger taste, but it is good.

  • 5

    Posted by Samuel Godsey on 2nd Feb 2017

    Wonderful! A very beautiful tea! Grateful for the opportunity to sip this at such an awesome price!!!

  • 5
    A special tea

    Posted by Mike on 18th Jan 2017

    This is a very special tea. It makes a very flavourful brew from just a small quantity of tea. The aroma and taste are heavenly. I always derive a very pleasant feeling of well-being from oolong, and this one produces that result in abundance. It's the combination of the beauty of the leaves, the colour of the tea, the aroma, and the taste. Happily, you can make infusion after infusion from these leaves and the result will continue to be pleasing. Thank you for offering this tea.

  • 5
    My first Oolong

    Posted by Samuel Godsey on 17th Jan 2017

    This was my first Oolong and I absolutely loved every cup of it!!!

  • 4
    Floral and smooth

    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.

  • 5
    Delicate and Delicious

    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!

  • 4
    High Quality for Reasonable Price

    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!

  • 4

    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.

  • 4
    Mild flavoured, tastes incomplete, but organic. Great everyday drinker

    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.

  • 5

    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?!

  • 5
    Love that tea

    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.

  • 5
    The tea I have been hunting for

    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.

  • 3

    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.

  • 4
    Very nice

    Posted by Unknown on 27th Jan 2013

    very nice earthy tea - suggest adding a bit more than the suggested amount though

  • 5
    Excellent Ti Kuan Yin

    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!

  • 3
    Enjoyable Example of a Ti Kuan Yin

    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.

  • 2
    Boring, Disappointing Tea

    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.

  • 5
    This tea tastes like salvation.

    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.

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