ZO88: Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong Special Grade

Tea type
Oolong Tea
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Bitter, Floral, Malt, Smoke
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Edit tea info Last updated by Oolonga
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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From Upton Tea Imports

The finest grade of traditional China Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong (Wu-Long). Similar to ZO80, with more pronounced flavor.

About Upton Tea Imports View company

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6 Tasting Notes

2 tasting notes

I wonder whether I’m doing something wrong?
190, 4-1/2 minutes, 190 degrees, 2 slightly heaped teaspoons, and one additional ½ teaspoon.
Seemed weak, so I added another 1/2-min at 195, after which it became just a bit bitter/astringent. Not thrilled so far.

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec

I use about 4-5 grams per 8 ounces of water brewed Western style at 190 degrees for 2 minutes, increasing subsequent steeps by 1 minute each. Maybe you’d like this better with the Gongfu brewing method?


I need to get a scale, but I actually just tried for a 4th or 5th time, this time brewing for a much longer time (which I usually don’t do), and it made all the difference.
18oz of water, 5 full teaspoons of the tea, 205 degrees, 5 full minutes.
THAT was good! It’s apparently a very sensitive, finicky tea.


Yay! I’m glad you found something that worked for you!! I don’t think I’ve tried Upton yet, so I can’t speak to their teas. I know they’re popular here on Steepster. Every Tie Guan Yin I’ve tried has been awesome!! It’s one of my favs and not particularly finicky in my experience.


Wait, I’m mixing up the tes I’m reporting on. That was something else entirely! . And yet it’s almost true, because I was inspired by this to try again.
4 heaping teaspoons (I need a scale, of course), 15 oz., 190, 5 minutes. I might try 5:30 or even 6 minutes next time. It is almost syrupy, and clearly better, but… it’s as if it has all the “secondary” tastes, the ones you find in the background, but without any of the “main,” foreground taste. Odd stuff.


And you’re right that I might like the Gongfu approach, but it seems like a huge amount of work. Although that’s because I haven’t done i before.

El Monstro

I really like their zO80 “first grade” version.

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294 tasting notes

I gave this Wulung the cold water brew in the Mason jar. The result was a delicious nectar of the Gods….

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24 tasting notes

A well-made tea, an oolong with a floral backbone, somewhat sweet, but full-flavored. This is an extremely popular tea, and it comes in a wide variety of grades. This Special Grade has pungency and stands up to repeated steepings; with a gong-fu cup, you’ll discover a variety of flavor notes.

For me, the tea’s natural astringency left me less than satisfied – though I fully realize that this is a satisfactory example of this tea.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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5 tasting notes

This TGY really surprised me. My first taste had me take a second look at the liquor. It taste and smells rich (almost fatty in a good way). I thought it tasted as if I had added coconut milk to it! Loving it!

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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25 tasting notes

Not a bad tea. My first TGY. I have tried the sample twice and dont feel like the tea tasted the same each time, but perhaps that is just my memory.

Dry leaf: smoky, floral.
Wet leaf: malty, smoky.
Taste: floral, smoky, bitter.

Flavors: Bitter, Floral, Malt, Smoke

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673 tasting notes

although i prefer any degree of roasted oolong, I’m not much for raw oolong. however this is the best raw oolong I’ve had so for

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