Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tea Review Tuesday - A Review of Teavivre's Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea

As is my custom with many oolongs, I chose to use a gaiwan in the tasting of this tea. Something about the methodical pouring of dry leaves, rinsing them, watching them begin to expand, and putting them through multiple steepings of gong fu-style brewing is, in a way, calming. The rinsing reveals that this tea is quite nutty and perhaps a bit fruity in aroma. I eagerly begin the steeping.

A pale yellow liquor results from the first infusion. The smell is very intensely oolong. For a first, short steeping, I am actually surprised - pleasantly so. The flavor is developing, but more than just a weak infusion. It has body and character - that much I can already see. The nuttiness, which I had detected in the smell from the freshly-rinsed leaves, shines through the flavor a bit. as well. I turn on some music that is completely at odds with tea tasting (electro house), and I somehow find it conforming to my tea session.

The second steeping I find to be nutty, creamy, and well-rounded in flavor. The color remains the same, and the leaves have opened wide. The smell is smooth and very aromatic.

In the third steeping, the most flavor (thus far) reaches my tongue. It would seem as though the flavor truly has gotten bolder over the course of this steeping. The slightest hint of vegetal leanings is present, but really takes a backseat to the other delicious flavors. I am certain that this tea has a few more steepings in it, and it makes for a really nice tie guan yin that is worth tasting. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would rate it a 4.

Teavivre's Monkey Picked (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong is available from their website, here.
This review was unsolicited and uncompensated.
You can read more about my Personal Enjoyment Scale, here.
Text is copyright 2016, Built from Ink and Tea.


  1. Is this tea common with standard oolongs ? I want to try it, my standard for oolong tea is http://www.tea-and-coffee.com/da-hong-pao
    but i want to try something new.

    1. Oolong teas have a great amount of variety between them, and Da Hong Pao and Tie Guan Yin are no exception. To me, those two varieties are as different as black tea to green tea.

      It would be difficult to define just what a "standard oolong" might entail! I recommend trying different varieties to find your personal taste. Thanks for the comment, Corey.