Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin Oolong Tea from Teavivre

Anxi Monkey KingTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

TeaVivre brings you the fresh Monkey King Monkey King Tie Guan Yin which has no heavy roasting flavor. It is from the origin place of Tie Guan Yin, Anxi in Fujian Province. The twisted dry leaves are tight and strong in dragonfly-like shape. Dry tea has the light refreshing fragrance of vegetables and fruits. After brewed, the characteristic fresh scent of Tie Guan Yin comes. The tea liquid tastes sweet and its fragrance lasts long.

Tie Guan Yin has two different kinds of making method, Zheng Chao (正炒,) and Tuo Suan (拖酸), which was introduced in the description of Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin. This Anxi Monkey King (Ma Liu Mie) Tie Guan Yin belongs to zheng chao Tie Guan Yin tea, has comfortable brisk and smooth flavor without the sour taste on your tongue, just like the Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This is a lovely Tie Guan Yin – it’s a little different than the ‘typical’ Tie Guan Yin, at least, those that I’m used to.  The leaves above look greener than the leaves that I found when I opened the sample pouch, these appear to be a chocolate brown color with notes of a deep forest-y green.  They look as though they might have been lightly roasted or at the very least they appear as though they were oxidized a little longer than the typical green Tie Guan Yin.

To brew this tea, I grabbed my gaiwan and measured a bamboo scoop of leaf into the bowl of the gaiwan.  I rinsed the leaves for 15 seconds in 180°F.  Then I discarded the liquid and resteeped the leaves for 45 seconds in 180°F water and strained the liquid into my teacup.  Then I repeated the process, adding 15 seconds onto each subsequent infusion.  I combined the first 2 infusions to create my first cup, infusions 3 and 4 combined made my second cup, and so on…

And after tasting the tea, I think I’m correct with the ‘roasted’ guess because I taste a nice roasty-toasty flavor to this.  It’s sweet and nutty and very pleasantly smooth.  There is very little astringency to this first cup.  It’s creamy and this creaminess develops as the cup cools.  I found the first few sips to be crisper, brisker than the sips that followed as the cup cooled somewhat.  As the tea cooled, the brisk flavor became more subdued and the creaminess came forward.  While I liked that brisk note, I am liking the creaminess even more.  I like the way it melds with the nutty flavors.

The second cup was not quite as creamy as the first but I found it to be even smoother.  The roasty-toasty notes remind me of notes of charred wood and freshly roasted, still warm chestnuts.  The toasty flavors lend an autumnal taste to the cup, evoking thoughts of a walk on an afternoon when the weather is crisp and the fallen leaves are crackling beneath your feet.  You can smell hints of smoke in the air from a nearby chimney.  It’s a very cozy and comforting flavor.

The third cup almost seemed like a different tea entirely!  It’s still smooth, but this tastes brisker and cleaner.  I’m not getting as much a nutty tone as I’m getting a fruit-like flavor.  Hints of peach with the charred wood notes that I experienced in the second cup.

This third cup is a very refreshing tea – my palate feels clean after sipping it but don’t mistake that for a ‘cleansing astringency’ because I’m not experiencing that.  What I’m experiencing is a crisp, clean flavor that isn’t inundated with a heaviness.  It is gentle and soft on the palate and doesn’t weigh it down with flavors.  It’s an invigorating taste.  As the cup cools slightly, some of the nutty flavors start to emerge and these meld beautifully with the peachy flavors.

A really lovely Tie Guan Yin.  If you are familiar with the greener Tie Guan Yin, I strongly recommend trying this one for something a little different!  This is yet another example of why I love Oolong teas so much – the word “Oolong” can mean a vast number of different tastes and just when you think you’re familiar with one type of Oolong, something comes along like this Monkey King and offers something a little different and makes you fall in love with Tie Guan Yin all over again!

Yin Gou Mei Green Tea from Simple Loose Leaf

YinGouMeiTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Simple Loose Leaf

Tea Description:

This Chinese tea is often referred to as eyebrow tea due to its eyebrow shaped tea leaves. The leaves are hand picked during early spring to result in a floral and robust flavor without the bitterness often associated with this type of tea. The rich green tea leaves brew to reveal a bright jade liquor with a fresh aroma, balanced earthiness and smooth, subtle finish. Yin Gou Mei Green Tea is best served hot.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about Simple Loose Leaf’s Selection Club subscription program here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had a Yin Gou Mei, so, I was really looking forward to having this tea when I discovered it was part of this month’s Selection Club sampler box from Simple Loose Leaf.

Yin Gou Mei is often called “Chinese Eyebrows” because of the cute “eyebrow” shape of the leaves.  But, I don’t like calling it Chinese Eyebrows because that sounds … weird and not in a good way.  So forgive me for not calling it by that name and instead going with Yin Gou Mei.

And this is a really LOVELY Yin Gou Mei!

This is sweet and creamy with soft nutty notes, but there is a light crispness to the cup as well.  There are delicate floral notes that meld with the soft, creamy sweetness.  It makes my palate swoon how these two tastes mingle together.  It’s very smooth from start to finish, with no bitter notes and very little noticeable astringency.

What I like about Yin Gou Mei is that it’s a little different from the typical green tea in that it tastes somewhat “earthy” but not really overly vegetal.  While there is a slight vegetative note to this, it’s not a heavy, grassy taste, nor does it taste like steamed veggies or any of the other vegetative comparisons that I often make.  It’s smooth, floral and lightly earthy/vegetal note that is softened with a pleasant creaminess.

I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again in the future, but, I just love getting my monthly Selection Club box from Simple Loose Leaf!  It really is a GREAT bargain:  I get five different teas each month and there’s enough for several pots of tea from EACH of the five teas in the box.  Plus you get a sample from the next month’s box to whet your appetite for the teas to come!  And there are a couple of different payment options available to you that have been designed for savings and convenience in mind.

And if you want to save even more, here’s what you do:  use this code – SISTERSELECTION25  – and receive a 25% discount when you sign up for the Selection Club!  This discount is applicable only to the monthly Selection Club subscription and not the retail selection of teas.  It’s an awesome service!

Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea from Teavivre


Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Oolong

Where to Buy:  Teavivre

Tea Description:

When mentioned Anxi County, people will spontaneously think of Anxi Tie Guan Yin, “Iron Goddess”. It is well-known both inland and abroad. This Tie Guan Yin is close to forest green in color, has a pure aroma. Meanwhile the liquid of this Oolong tea is transparent and bright, which truly is a feast to the eyes. In taste, this Tie Guan Yin has sweet flavor, long-last fragrance and comfortable sweet aftertaste.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

Teavivre is one of those companies that continually impress me with the finest quality teas.  This Anxi Superfine Tie Guan Yin “Iron Goddess” Oolong Tea from Teavivre is a perfect example of what I mean.

This tea smells amazing.  The dry leaf has a floral and vegetative aroma, and once brewed, the liquid becomes less vegetal and more floral.  It’s really very fragrant, and it’s a joy to inhale the fragrance deeply before sipping.

I brewed this tea the same way I would normally approach an Oolong.  Using my gaiwan, I first did a quick “awakening” of the tea leaves, allowing them to steep in the hot water for 15 seconds, and then draining off the liquid.  Then I steeped the first infusion for 45 seconds, and with each infusion that followed, I added an additional 15 seconds.  I combine the first and second infusions to make my first cup, and the third and fourth infusions to make the second cup … and so on.

The first cup is light and crisp.  My experience with Tie Guan Yin is to expect a buttery quality, but usually the first cup is lighter in texture and flavor than the subsequent cups.  The flavor is sweet and floral, with delicate notes of honey.  It’s a nice way to start off with this lovely tea!

Usually, my second cup is my favorite, and that is true with this tea experience as well.  The flavor and texture is creamier, but it isn’t a heavy, buttery taste.  More like a light touch of butter – imagine steamed, mild tasting green veggies that have been lightly buttered.  That is much of what I taste right now … together with a lovely floral tone that is somewhere between honeysuckle and orchid, leaning more toward the orchid than the honeysuckle.  Notes of honey-esque sweetness please the taste buds.

The third cup becomes a more unified flavor, where there is less sharpness between the contrasting flavors.  The creaminess is more subdued, and the floral tones are lighter, but the cup is still very rewarding.  It’s definitely worth the effort to keep on steeping with this tea!

Overall, I found this tea to be a bit more mellow than some of the sharper Tie Guan Yin teas that I’ve tasted.  It’s a more refined taste, and I really enjoyed it.  As I type this, I see that this tea is currently out of stock … I hope that Teavivre restocks it soon, because it is definitely one you should put on the “gotta try it” list!