Drunken Concubine from Silk Road Tea. . . . .

This top-shelf variant of Iron Goddess (Tie Guan Ying) oolong is named after the Beijing opera story where a concubine gets shwasted after she’s stood up by the king. Based on the name alone, I’m not sure which way this will go from the baseline floral taste of a lesser quality iron goddess – will the tea be a sharp bitter taste reminiscent of heartbreak, or a sweet balm to heal her sorrows?
The dry leaves have fabulous scent, reminding me of the elusive white gummy bears flavor.
After brewing “3-5 grams for under 2 minutes”, the brew is quickly a deep ochre yellow. A delicate purple orchid wafted up from the full, fluffy leaves along with the familiar umami butter of oxidized teas. It should be noted this teas flavor is due to slight oxidation as it grows – leaf hoppers bite a bit and start the process as it’s still growing. Which means there’s an absence of pesticides – win!

Everything about this tea so far is flat out sexy. Yep, sexy tea, I took it too far with the concubine reference…Moving on.
One thing I love about Oolong teas is their incredible resteep value. In this particular case, the royal fragrance gives way to a complex nectar of smoke in later brews. I’m at least 5 steeps in and the flavor just keeps evolving. This is FANTASTIC! Perfect to drink all day. Definitely the heart mending tea from my predictions earlier. A great escape for someone whose thoughts are clouded with an ominous heartache.
My first go with this tea, I over brewed it. Fortunately it was forgiving…maybe the tea is telling me something? When I brewed it with more care, it was simply magical. This is exactly the pick-me-up tea I needed this week.

Here’s the scoop!

 Where to Buy: Silk Road Teas

Drunken Concubine is named in recognition of the intoxicating flavors of a wonderful, high-grade Tieguanyin oolong. One will note the highly aromatic fragrance of the leaves. In the first steep, as the leaves begin to unfurl, delicious, flavorful notes build. This tea is bright, clean, fresh and orchid-like – all classic flavors of this high-grade, prized lo-oxidized oolong. Each season, we select a lot of this varietal from our tea maker that we believe is the finest of the harvest. We are proud to offer our latest lot of Drunken Concubine. This is a rare taste offering, high-grade oolong, much prized in China.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Organic Superfine Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess) Oolong Tea from Teavivre


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Tie Guan Yin tea is a type of Oolong tea, and is – deservedly – one of the most revered and sought after type tea in China. Sometimes also written as Ti Kuan Yin or Iron Goddess Oolong Tea. With a delightfully fresh floral taste. It is well-known both inland and abroad. You will certainly be surprised with the distinct orchid fragrance of this Organic Superfine Tie Guan Yin. Meanwhile the liquid of this Oolong tea is transparent and bright, which truly is a feast to the eyes. In taste, this Organic Tie Guan Yin has sweet flavor, long-last fragrance and comfortable sweet aftertaste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This Organic Superfine Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea from Teavivre (also known as Iron Goddess), is lovely – really lovely indeed.  Sweet, crisp in flavor, with delightful floral overtones.

The dry leaves look very much like other Tie Guan Yin teas I’ve encountered – the leaves have been tightly wound into pellets.  These pellets seem smaller than a typical Tie Guan Yin, and the color is a very vivid, dark forest green.  Beautiful!  The aroma is vegetative, reminding me of springtime when the air is filled with the scent of new, green growth and notes of flower.

Ordinarily, I combine the first two infusions for my first cup, but today, I wanted to try the first infusion on its own.  So, after a quick fifteen second rinse, I infused the leaves for 45 seconds and enjoyed the tea.  My first infusion was quite light in flavor.  Sweet, with delicate floral tones and a hint of creaminess to the taste and texture.

The second cup – the combination of the second and third infusions – is much creamier, sweeter and has a heady floral essence that says “orchid!”  I can taste a vanilla-esque note to this.  There isn’t a strong vegetative taste to this cup, but I do notice some vegetation off in the background.  Beautifully sweet, this cup!

The third cup – which is the combination of the fourth and fifth infusions – is a bit lighter in texture than the second, but not quite as crisp as the first.  There is a certain brightness to this cup, I can almost taste a hint of citrus to this.  Not quite a “fruit-like” flavor, but the acidic nature of the citrus is what I notice, and this offers a nice contrast to the sweet, floral tones.  Still quite sweet, the flavors are beginning to meld here, becoming more unified and less distinct.

This is really a lovely Tie Guan Yin … if you’ve only room on your tea shelf for one Tie Guan Yin, this should definitely be one that you consider for that coveted spot!  This one is top-notch!

Organic Superfine Moderately Roasted Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea

Organic Superfine Moderately Roasted Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea
Organic Superfine Moderately Roasted Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Teavivre 

Tea Description:

This Organic Superfine Moderately Roasted Tie Guan Yin has a little of coffee’s flavor, which is suitable for who loves teas with coffee taste. You will sense a familiar fragrance of coffee for first sip, and after swallowing the liquid, a sweet aftertaste will quickly upwelling to your throat. As it is 85% fermented, this Tie Guan Yin will not become bitter even for a long time infusion. Dry tea leaves are brown and curly, has a smell of charcoal fire. The liquid is in golden yellow color, which truly feasts to the eyes.

Organic Roasted Oolong with Coffee Aroma

Organically produced near Zhangzhou(漳州) in Fujian, China.

Harvest Time: September, 2012

Hand made into small, rolled up leaves

Roasted, 85% fermented

Golden Yellow color, bright and clean liquid

Sweet and soft taste with coffee fragrance for first sip, long-last flavor, sweet aftertaste around throat

Low caffeine (less than 10% of a cup of coffee)

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

The aroma of Organic Superfine Moderately Roasted Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea is milky and creamy, which is surprising since I was really anticipating a deeper roasted aroma. Regardless, I love a milky tea so if it tasted milky I would be fine with that. I decided to go ahead and let it steep for a couple more minutes since Iron Goddess does not get bitter with longer steeps. This seems to be the way to go because after two more minutes after an initial 2 minutes it became stronger, bolder, with a coffee like aroma and that roasted aroma I was expecting. I will later hate to try it with a shorter steep though as I am sure that milky aroma had something to it!

Finally, the first sip was delicious! I did initially get a little creaminess but the smokiness and roasted flavor took over. The tea is a bit sweeter than I had expected having it compared in the description to a coffee like flavor but I rather like it. It is robust, not as robust as some black teas but robust for an oolong.

While I really can see how this would be a great tea to serve to a coffee drinker I don’t want the tea drinkers out there who do not care for coffee to be afraid to give it a try. The quality of this tea is astounding, as are all of Teavivre’s teas and realistically nothing taste like coffee but coffee itself. This is clearly an excellent Iron Goddess, deep, roasty, and toasty, and the creamy texture of this tea on the mouth is really special.

Also this is a tea that keeps on giving. Even with my long five minute steep the first time around I can continue to keep on steepin! Following steeps have some interesting notes highlighted that bring about the thoughts of a green tea, such as green bean for example, but more like veggies that are fire roasted! So good! I love having this Iron Goddess with some milk chocolate, it really taste like s’mores between the creamy note in the tea and the smokiness with the toasty note, and of course the chocolate!

This tea has some serious NOM factor!

Tie Guan Yin Iron Goddess Oolong from Teavivre

Tea Information:

Leaf Type: Oolong

Where to Buy: Teavivre

Tea Description:

Tie Guan Yin tea is a type of Oolong tea, and is – deservedly – one of the most revered and sought after type tea in China.  Sometimes also written as Ti Kuan Yin or Iron Goddess Oolong Tea.  Apart from its amazing taste, this tea also has great health benefits, being high in amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants.

more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Lord this tea smells so very good! That is in the dry leaf state! Don’t even get me started on the steeped leaf! I am weak in the knees at the aroma of this tea.

It has almost a brown sugar, or maple like essence. Oh my!

When steeped however it also develops some more notes such as floral, but not overly so, and vegetal, but again its not so vegetal that those who are not fond of green tea would be turned off.

To me, the predominant notes are of dessert-y, baked good aromas.

This is a tea that not only can be steeped many times, but deserves to be steeped many times! Having a gong fu session is best with this type of tea as each steep releases different notes, different characteristics, different elements trapped within the tea. It is our duty to release each and every one to be enjoyed fully.

Now it is no secret that I adore Teavivre teas but this specific tea is one of my favorites from them.

The first steep provides a light infusion of crisp floral and vegetal notes that are only slightly buttery. There is a slight yet noticeable lime note in this infusion but it is not tart, just juicy and bright. The lingering after taste is that of steamed greens, almost a celery flavor, very fresh from the market tasting.

Now if you are not using a gaiwan or yixing pot be sure you are using a large enough brew basket as these leaves really expand, a lot! Seriously, lol even my Gaiwan was a bit too full with this leaf! This however is not a bad thing.

Steep two is very similar to the first steep, however providing a slightly more buttery and nutty flavor. The mouthfeel is also slightly thicker and heavier. Drinking this tea makes me want to reach for some butter cookies. It just seems to be the perfect pairing! I only wish I had some.

Steeps three and four are where the flavor profile really begins to shift, with new notes emerging. There is a fruity essence coming forth and that all to well known to me flavor that most all oolong have is really forefront. A flavor that is difficult to describe and only those who have sipped a good oolong can understand.

Oolong is my favorite type of tea. I love the earthiness of it similar to puerh, the sweet vegetal notes like that of green tea, the fruity notes that you can find in many teas types, the boldness of a black. With the delicate nature of a yellow or white tea, with distinct flavor notes all of its own. Everything I love about all other teas can be found right here in an oolong, and this oolong is top notch.

Steeps three and four become more buttery with a more rich mouthfeel, savory from herbaceous notes, the floral has relaxed a little but is still an undertone to the cup. The vegetal is not as strong either but is replaced by a nuttier flavor yet in the after taste evolves again! I will get at least two more if not three or four more steeps out of this leaf and I look forward to each one!

Such a delightful, expressive cup.

Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong from Teavivre

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

Tie Guan Yin tea is a type of Oolong tea, and is – deservedly – one of the most revered and sought after type tea in China.  Sometimes also written as Ti Kuan Yin or Iron Goddess Oolong Tea.  Apart from its amazing taste, this tea also has great health benefits, being high in amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is an outstanding Tie Guan Yin.

This brews to a beautiful chartreuse color.  If I recall correctly, other Tie Guan Yin teas that I’ve experienced were more yellow than green, but this one has a distinct greenish hue to it.  It’s really quite lovely.  The aroma is floral and sweet, eluding to what the taste has in store.

And yes, it is indeed floral and sweet.  It has a delectable buttery overtone to it with hints of vegetation, giving it a taste that is somewhat like lightly buttered, steamed vegetables.  The floral notes taste sweet and exotic.

And the more you steep these leaves, the better the tea becomes.  While the combination of the first and second infusions were light and refreshing, the flavor intensified significantly with the cup that held my third and fourth infusion.  More buttery tones, very rich and even had a slickness to the mouthfeel.  Quite delightful.  The fifth and sixth infusion proved to be equally as delicious.

I have been extraordinarily impressed with Teavivre’s taste and quality.  They are dedicated to providing the very best teas, and this Tie Guan Yin is a perfect example of that excellence.  This company is a MUST TRY for all tea lovers!