Hand Picked Autumn Tieguanyin (2011)

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Oolong Tea
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Almond, Apricot
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200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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89 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I am working on drinking the supply down! It is therefore not okay to have to add to it just because I must have forgotten to add it in the first place. Anyway… Once upon a time I had a sample of...” Read full tasting note
  • “Sipdown! I have enjoyed this a lot but all good things must come to an end… especially where green oolongs are concerned. I am picking up on the saffron notes a LOT this morning and I am cold...” Read full tasting note
  • “First Review. I’ve been beating around the bush…waiting for just the right time to taste this tea. The reports being so glowing and all…I wanted time and a peaceful state of mind. Tea is for that...” Read full tasting note
  • “Woohoo! So I’m not completely jaded on tea. I drank two cups of this this morning and I am enjoying it! My left eye keeps twitching and that is… worrisome, but I imagine that’s from the lack of...” Read full tasting note

From Verdant Tea

“The fresh autumn harvest of our famous Tieguanyin has just arrived! Try it at the very peak of its potent flavor and aroma…”

Last autumn’s Tieguanyin harvest quickly became one of the most popular teas we have ever offered. The farmers we work with in Anxi somehow manage every season to combine the floral ideals of spring, the grassy sweet ideals of autumn and a uniquely potent saffron aftertaste. Their autumn harvest tends to be the most robust and full-bodied. Last autumn, the Tieguanyin had a distinctive juiciness like biting into a perfectly fresh peach.

We work to get our fresh green teas and Tieguanyins on a plane as soon after picking as we can and spare no expense in our rush air shipping so that you can experience teas like this one at the peak of their potency.

About Verdant Tea View company

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89 Tasting Notes

1353 tasting notes

I am working on drinking the supply down! It is therefore not okay to have to add to it just because I must have forgotten to add it in the first place. Anyway…

Once upon a time I had a sample of Verdant’s TGY, which, as I am wont to do, I brewed western style and was subsequently fairly underwhelmed by. I mean, it was good, don’t get me wrong. I even gave it 86 points, which you must concede is pretty high. It just wasn’t interesting.

“No, no, no,” said Spoonvonstrup. “You should short steep it.”

Well now. I didn’t have any of my sample left to do that, so Spoonvonstrup offered to share a sample with. I was a little torn. Part of me was sceptic that it would make such a large difference and that, these days, possibly greener oolongs were just not for me, but a larger part of me thought that it absolutely could and should not be true that something which had made people swoon in bliss all over Steepster should come across as so uninteresting to me. I was missing out and that’s not cricket. So I said, yes please.

Turns out Spoonvonstrup had already been planning a large number of other things to share with me as well, as has already be written about, but I count this one as the being the primary purpose of the exchange.

Well. I say ‘exchange’, but my attempt at a return package was returned to sender. I must have written the address wrong.

Anyway, I received a generous sample of this TGY on the clear understanding that I would short steep it.

So I am doing that very thing now, and this right here is the first round. I believe it’s a different harvest than the one I had initially, but I’m not expecting that to matter so very much in this experiment.

There is a slightly floral aroma to it, with a strong note of something that I can only describe as ‘some kind of tart fruit’. It doesn’t smell like apple or citrus or pineapple, so I’m not sure what exactly it is. It just smells kind of fruity and yellow-ish green.

The flavour is stronger oolong-y than I expected. I think that I was expecting something more soft and vegetal like a green tea, possibly because of the short steep, but this is definitely tasting like an oolong. It has that smidge of earthyness to it. Again the floral note is very low key and there is ‘something fruity’ going on.

Even the aftertaste keeps tingling and tickling on my tongue for a long time.

Now that I have a learned to recognise a chalky sort of flavour, I’m detecting that too. Well, it’s not so much that I’m suddenly detecting it where I didn’t before; it’s more that I’ve learned to put words on what it is, and therefore I am noticing it being there. I learned that in some green tea I had the other days. Emperor’s Mist and Clouds, I think it was called. That one had it pretty bad, but this one is not so much. I wonder if it’s actually my water that does it. I had a brief thought of buying some bottled water and trying a comparison, but as Denmark on the whole prides itself on having a high quality tap water, clean and drawn straight from the underground, paying through my nose for bottled water when it’s not strictly necessary strikes me as rather a waste of money. If I’m out somewhere and I get thirsty I have no problems buying some, but then it’s usually slightly carbonated and with some sort of flavouring added. Bottled still water… Sorry, I can’t make myself do that. Not even for tea. So either I’ll have to look into some sort of filtering system or wait until there’s something wrong with the pipes and I’m forced to use bottled water.

Anyway, that was a tangent. The point is there was a slightly mineral note, but nothing very significant.

The colour has gone all vivid yellow on the second round, and that ‘something fruity’ note is definitely citrus-y now. Lemon-y or lime-y. Not the fruit itself, though, but more zest-y.

The flavour is more mellow this time. While this also has a touch of citrus, this is more fruit than zest. I find actual lemon juice to be a sort of softer flavour than zest. Juice is broad and spreads out, where zest is pointy and stabby.

The flavour is definitely not zesty and there’s still only a little of it. Most of it is still that oolong-y earthyness with a little floralness to it, but not too much.

Really these first two steeps have been very similar indeed.

Round three strikes me as quite floral on the nose, but still with a good deal of citrus. That citrus-y note just seems to be getting stronger and stronger here, as if it’s something that have to be coaxed out of the leaves.

The flavour, however, remains the same as before, if perhaps a tad paler.

And I think I will stop the post here, although I don’t think I’m quite finished playing with these leaves. There is so much flavour still to go on, and as it appears to be so very consistent, I suspect I’m in for a rather long haul. It’s going to be a very long post indeed if I continue writing.

In conclusion, Spoonvonstrup was right. This really do need short steeping before it can shine for me. Although my socks have not been knocked into deep space with this one, it’s still oodles better than the uninteresting result of my very first go at it. I think maybe to do with how it’s much less floral this way. The rest of the flavour profile, curiously, is completely different too, it seems.


My western style is 12oz of water to 3-5g leaf. My normal starting steep is 2-3 minutes unless instructions are provided.

What is your western style and how does it compare to your short steeps?


I do all measurement save timing by estimation so I can’t really give you anything accurate. Western style usually means my ‘normal’ amount of leaf, 1-3 teaspoons depending on whether I’m making a small pot for myself or the larger to share with the boyfriend, and then steeping 2-4 minutes, again depending on pot size. The small pot holds approximately half a liter, perhaps a bit less, and I think I tend to use about one liter in the large pot, perhaps a bit more. I tend to ignore instructions and recommendations unless I can’t get it to work with my usual procedure, because I know how I like it best, but the person who wrote the recommendations might not like it best that way.

For my semi-gong-fu-y short steeps I use the same amount of leaf, but half the amount of water. Steeping times then tend to start around 20-30 seconds depending on type and mood.




Most of my husband’s socks have been knocked into deep space, but only in singles; the other unmatched ones are in a pile on to pof the washer ;)




Haha it appears it is Verdants Autumn TGY’s time to be reviewed! So much activity for this tea lately =)
Glad you enjoyed it better gong-fu-ish style. I find that is my favourite method for Verdant teas.. just because you can find so many different flavour notes developing sometimes. That, and I like to go for 10+ sessions each time I drink it. Though making a pot is so much less work =)


Ten! Gosh, that’s a lot of tea!
I have to use the small pot, because I’m so inept at gaiwan. I’ve got one, but these days I just keep it around as a decorative item. I can’t seem to work out how to use it without spilling and burning myself. After I got tired of getting hot water on my fingers I tried practising with tap water, but eventually I just gave up. :)

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2816 tasting notes


I have enjoyed this a lot but all good things must come to an end… especially where green oolongs are concerned. I am picking up on the saffron notes a LOT this morning and I am cold brewing the remainder of this for tomorrow, which should be lovely.


What happens to the flavor profile when you cold brew a Tieguanyin? I haven’t tried that before.


They are GREAT that way! I have found the cold brewing tends to bring out sweet and buttery notes, depending on the tea.

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676 tasting notes

First Review. I’ve been beating around the bush…waiting for just the right time to taste this tea. The reports being so glowing and all…I wanted time and a peaceful state of mind. Tea is for that moment when we stop and appreciate what has come from the Earth. For me, I offer thanksgiving to the Giver of Life. I have a new toy called a PIAO I Teapot which I bought from Amazon for $28 plus shipping. It is glass and has a pitcher and a top infuser that you put the tea in. You pour in water and after steeping push a rod and the tea is released to the bottom of the pitcher when a glass ball lifts up. No stainless basket or anything. So I used this method for this tea and it worked well. (Bought it mainly for Puerhs).
First steep 4 minutes…Beautiful large green leaves…the scent is like artichoke hearts when warm and fresh (not the canned kind). Beautiful light golden yellow liquor and a taste that is almost non-floral at all but there is a hint of orchid…a tease only. Where did the napoleon pastry come from? That custardy buttered layered crusty pastry? And then, a juicy rush that takes over your whole mouth and almost goes up your nose. The flavors linger. As the liquid cools the butteriness deepens and the flavors mellow like a sigh after the last crumb has been devoured on the dessert tray.
Second Pour: I’m afraid to drink anymore after the first deliciousness. The juicy mouthfeel is still there. I peeked at the reviews and saw something about Keiffer Lime…OH REALLY? I have Keiffer Lime in the cupboard, so I went and got the jar down and sniffed it…then sniffed and sip-slurped the tea. OK, there IS a subtle flavor of Keiffer Lime in the tea but you’d have to really know lime to know that it’s there. The Marshmallow comments I can understand more. Marshmallow is SUGAR and this does taste at times like a vanilla, custard sugar like a NAPOLEON pastry. Or like vanilla cake (in case you never have tasted a Napoleon). The comments on grass flavor in this tea I do not get. I went to smell the tea leaves and on the second steep there is no vegital scent but just a nice sweet plant leaf smell like lettuce but not like artichokes anymore. I bought 4 oz of this and I’m glad I did! I get to keep steeping all day!!! Hooray for me!!! Pastry tea!!!


oh yummmm that sounds SO amazing. Now I’m scared to order some, the reviews are a little intimidating lol


Waaa you scared?! I thought you were Wonder Woman! Believe me Verdant is easy to deal with. This tea was easy to brew so no fear. Oh..1tsp dry expanded to half a cup of big leaves wet!


I know but, the reviews are so good, what if I am the only one who hates the tea!
(I kid, kindof… just being silly, really!)


You definitely won’t hate it! But you might be like me and be disappointed because your taste buds refuse to acknowledge all the delicious flavours that everyone else is tasting. I would recommend picking up the oolong sampler from Verdant :) (I’m eagerly awaiting April so I can pick up another sampler and a couple small bags of other teas! Since there’s that $10 off $40 coupon, I figure I should use it!)


They also have a new black tea that is supposed to taste chocolatey and the elderberry puerh is slightly gingery if you like ginger. Who cares what others think! I remember when I worked at Fortino Winery visiting Mondavi and having a discussion about some of the good wines Gallo produces. Point being, it’s fine to like whatever you want!


i had place an order of this, and some other sample…. and yes i’m lucky , i was just in time to picked up the Golden Fleece ….
yumm i feel the hype


Great note! I had the PIAO for a long time before we went down that long a slippery slope of teawares.. They work really well! For fun, I might suggest trying out shorter steeping times. 15-30 seconds for the first one, and then ten or more seconds for later ones. It’s how I usually make my oolongs in a gaiwan, and it usually worked well for me with the PIAO, too. As for the “vegetal” notes, I think they come out most in comparisoo a Spring TGY. Hope Verdant gets some spring stuff in soon (I’m almost out!). Also.. I’ve got to find this Napoleon pastry you mention. Never heard of it before, but if it tastes like TGY, it’s a definite must have!

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1598 tasting notes

Woohoo! So I’m not completely jaded on tea. I drank two cups of this this morning and I am enjoying it! My left eye keeps twitching and that is… worrisome, but I imagine that’s from the lack of sleep as I’m not actually doing anything that would be stressing me. I’m at work, and looking at how to spend my birthday monies! (New kindle, Tardis tea, and new clothes for work!) Tomorrow is my actual birthday but we saw my family last weekend and they gave me presents then instead of waiting – I’m not complaining!

So, anyway. This is a great cup. I’m happy I can actually enjoy it again.

Oh and Bryan Lee O’Malley is tweeting like crazy about Southland Tales today, which I was a sucker for and was really excited about only to go… huh, afterwards. It’s so oddball but THIS is what stood out for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pmgKiAnYmbY Man, I never expected to like Justin Timberlake, but I do. I really do.

205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

Have an awesome birthday tomorrow!
I know what you mean with Justin Timberlake. I wasn’t really a fan until I saw him on SNL a couple times, LOL, & now I love him!
Anybody who knows me never expected that :)


He’s great in In Time! I love that movie sfm. Happy early bday bb!!


And I think you’ve told me to watch In Time before. One of these days?


oh, PROBABLY. I gotta love my dystopia underdog stories ;) Netflix has it, if you have that (it’s super cheap)

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6768 tasting notes

Gentle on the sweet grass, a bit buttery, and nicely floral. The real flavor that WOWed me with this one is the comparison to Rock Candy…WHA???? Oh yes! it’s true! It’s sugary-sweet just like one of my childhood faves Rock Candy! Woot! It makes for a juicy wonder that is or sure! The after taste is a bit like lime which is both surprising yet oh-co-pleasing! This is wonderful! Truly WONDERFUL! LOVE this! It’s one of my faves from Verdant so far…but then again…just about everything I have tried of theirs has been LOL :)


How do you pick out all these flavours in straight teas?


teehee…not sure…just happen to pick them up, I guess! LOL


Some teas are just that good. My Naharhabi Assam has a candy sweet dry leaf aroma that makes my mouth water, and it carries through to the cup—a little less so, but it is there!

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6105 tasting notes

Fun experiment time, tonight. I’ve been dying for oolongs lately, and massively craving Verdant’s, but have had other teas I wanted to try, or not enough time, etc. etc… Anyhow, tonight I thought I’d finally compare the three tieguanyins I have received from Verdant – the 2011 Autumn, 2012 Spring (first harvest), and 2012 Spring (second harvest). I’m brewing them each up identically, using 1.5 tsp of leaf in 125mL water, with the leaves allowed to roam free in the cup before being strained out.

First infusion (208F/30s):
Light floral, buttery aroma. Green, floral taste. Very green aftertaste. Not too much oolong flavour, but it does leave a nice round, creamy taste in the mouth. I’m getting more oolong flavour from the spring harvests, but the differences are too subtle for me to pick up. Comparing it to the others, I think this is the least green and floral. It’s more subdued.

Second infusion (208F/30s):
Much like a lighter version of the first, in my opinion. More oolong flavour though, which was expected. Mmmmm. Caramel in the aftertaste, unlike the citrus of the spring harvests.

Overall: All three are delicious oolongs. My palate really isn’t developed enough to perceive differences though, at least the way I infused them (although I suspect that for my leaf:water ratio, a 30 second initial infusion was too long). Hoping I can go through another few infusions tomorrow, in which I will perhaps notice more differences!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

I love caramel notes in green teas. So good!


Great idea to brew up these teas that are from different harvests on the same day!

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2201 tasting notes

Sipdown, 220. The rest of this is going off in a swap to another steepster. I also have to say, whaaa? not logged since December 2011?? That is crazy. I must have drank some in the intervenign time and not logged it.

I always thought I preferred autumn picking Tieguanyins, but looking back at my past tasting note and drinking this now, I am not so sure. I just had the last of my 2011 Spring Picking last week, and even as an older tea, to me that had more buttery notes, more floral notes, and more sweetness. This is still very nice, but I definitely do not find it as amazing as the spring picking. I was going to restock on the Autumn Tieguanyin that just came back into stock at Verdant, but now I am thinking maybe I will wait for the 2013 spring picking.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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3294 tasting notes

This is a continuation of my so called Tea Trials, LOL.

Now I’m sipping on steeps 6 & 7, and they are both lovely.
One of the things I love about both of these Tieguanyins (Summer & Autumn) is the way they look: Dry, they look very similar to one another, amazingly green nuggets with a heavenly smell of fields of flowers and sweet greens. Once I start steeping them, each nugget opens out into a full leaf. The transformation is amazing, they just keep getting bigger with each steeping, until they are overflowing from the Gaiwan!

The Autumn Tea’s color is a little greener, & after adding water its especially brilliant, and I swear, as it steeped, the leaves it took on an iridescent green that was otherworldly in color. The leaves of the Autumn tea are definitely greener and sturdier looking as well.

Both teas smelled like Heaven, with the Autumn having a slightly greener essence. Both had a floral taste & aroma, but the Autumn leans heavily (& heavenly) to the Orchid scent, which I confess, I love! I think the summer was a little more astringent.

I loved both! I admit, I preferred the Autumn slightly.

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368 tasting notes

OK, to be fair, the first steep was very floral, but I’m up to 5 or 6 now and the flowers faded very quickly.

I am laughing because the leaves expended so much I can barely get the lid onto the gaiwan.

This really is amazing bunch of tea leaves. It will never be my favorite way of processing them, but that’s a matter of personal aesthetic.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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300 tasting notes

Feels like I haven’t logged a tea in forever, I really haven’t been trying much new, being on a buying hiatus. But I have been drinking, drinking the seasons of Verdant’s non-roasted Tieguanyins and Laoshan Greens. Drinking them simply to drink them and for this reason: http://verdanttea.com/how-to-store-tea/ not for any special occasion, person, comparison or log, simply because they need to be enjoyed. And you know what? That is so much more fulfilling right now than trying to cram in three different kinds of tea to review.

I also probably won’t be posting as frequently here for awhile, our basement flooded last night/this morning, we’ve got guys taking care of it as I type this, nothing majorly damaged as far as I can tell, except the carpet which we wanted to replace anyway, so will probably spending some time outside the house as well as sorting things out to throw away, give away or donate. Gosh I started that note like six hours ago, before everyone descended upon the house, was much more relaxed then, guess I need to make another cup.


Yikes, good luck dealing with the flooded basement! That’s never fun…

Terri HarpLady

Bummer about your basement, Autumn. Good luck with the cleanup, & hang in there!

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