Review: Tieguanyin, Xuyou Teahouse

As I posted earlier, I recently received a wonderful oolong tea gift from China. After trying this lightly oxidized oolong tea several times, I love it. I know for certain that this is one of the teas which we can and will drink everyday.

The biggest problem I forsee with this tea is how to get more from Shanghai. Full review and tasting notes follow below –

Review: Tieguanyin

Tea Type

Xuyou’s Tieguanyin is wonderful oolong that packs a powerful punch with its buttery flavor and apricot and honey aroma. Tieguanyin teas, which has been translated into “Iron Goddess of Mercy” are a premium variety of oolong teas and and typically similar to green teas with only a little oxidation. This particular teas produces a light gold liqueur has a medium body with a smooth, grassy flavor. The tea finishes with a lingering sweetness that starts at the back of the mouth and lingers for several minutes. This is one of my favorite teas so far and would go great by itself or accompanying light meals or fruits.

Since it’s a tea from Shanghai, I can’t tell you the manufacturer’s description about the tea, but I can tell you about the company.

Shanghai Huangshan Tea Co., Ltd. and its brand Xuyou Teahouse, was established in 1951. In 2006, the company was picked by the National Department of Commerce for the first grouping of enterprises named “Chinese Time-Honored Brands,” becoming the only such Shanghai tea company included in the list. Xuyou aspires to allow every customer to drink good tea, focuses mainly on the sale of Xuyou medium and high grade historically famous teas and specialty teas and is also known for its selection of well-crafted tea ware. The Teahouse has designated specialized production farms free from pollution and contaminants, allocated storage facilities scientifically designed to preserve freshness, and has the strength of its specialized technology for appraising teas. A chance to savor the purity of Xuyou fine teas and the unparalleled Xuyou specialty teas has not only become the official gift of the country to numerous foreign visitors, Xuhou tea also serves as the preferred gift for people traveling both in China and overseas, where it has an especially good reputation and popularity.

Tasting Notes

Brewing Instructions

Steep at 3-4 minutes with simmering water. Serve without milk or sugar.


The dry leaves are tightly wound bundles of leaf and stem, rolled together into round balls capped off by a pointy stem. Instead of neat, compact little balls, the dry leaves look like beautiful, crumpled leaf rolls. The leaves are spring green and emerald, with only the occasional indication of a light roast from the browned stem tip. The smell of the leaves brings to mind verdant tea fields with a mild grassy and fresh vegetable aroma.

After steeping, the stem and leaf bundles expand into large, full olive green leaves that show very light oxidation at the edges. It is pretty amazing to see how much the tea expands from even a small teaspoon of dry leaves. The tea consists of large leaves topped by small stems.


I steeped this tea for 4 minutes for a wonderful light golden liqueur. The leaves expanded and released a wonderful sweet flowery smell, like apricots and honey. The first taste has a medium body, with fruity aromas anchored by a smooth, slightly grassy flavor. There’s a mild astringency to the taste that curls the tongue. The tea finishes with a sweet aftertaste that starts at the back of the mouth, and lingers for several minutes after the tea. There’s a lush, buttery consistency to the liqueur.

On second infusion, the leaves are fully expanded. The tea is sweeter on the finish but retains a wonderful buttery flavor and floral aroma. I really consider this tea a wonderful everyday tea. The flavor is strong enough to enjoy with a light meal or paired with fruit, and strong enough in consistency to enjoy every morning.

After several different tastings of this tea, I continue to really enjoy it. Unlike many other teas, this tea doesn’t seem to become bitter with oversteeping.


This tea is from the Shanghai Huangshan Tea Company in Shanghai.

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Pricing & Where to Buy

This tea can be bought in various locations in Shanghai. If you ever visit here, they have several tea rooms in the city that provide an assortment of teas and teawares.