Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong


Owes its flavors to oxidation levels between green & black tea.

Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby Infusion » Jan 15th, '12, 19:55

Has anyone come across a specific tea that tastes like Teavana's Monkey Picked Oolong? I understand it's a ti guan yin type of tea, but I haven't found a TGY that tastes similar to it yet. Again, I'm looking for specific recommendations.

Thanks!
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby tingjunkie » Jan 16th, '12, 01:18

Sorry, I haven't tried that tea so I can't offer a suggestion, but I'm compelled to ask- if you like that specific tea, why are you searching for a doppelganger? Are you just trying to find it cheaper? There's nothing wrong with bargain hunting, but I'm asking so that we don't waste your time recommending more expensive vendors.
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby Infusion » Jan 16th, '12, 01:24

Right... I'm looking for a similar tasting tea that is not as pricey as $25 for 2 oz.
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby tingjunkie » Jan 16th, '12, 02:00

Just from the look of Teavana's MPO, I'd say it's a very green TGY (meaning low oxidation and little to no roasting). Jing Tea Shop is a vendor which usually gets high marks from most folks on this forum (including myself), and it looks like their Long Juan TGY's or Rou Gui would be in the same ballpark. In fact, my guess is that they would be higher quality, and even their highest grade (AAA) is less expensive than Teavana. You could order 25g (almost 1 oz) of each and give them a try.

This one from Harney and Sons looks more oxidized/roasted but it might be worth a shot. I generally think H&S has better teas than most of the other large tea chain stores.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby tingjunkie » Jan 16th, '12, 02:08

On closer inspection, Jing's Autumn Jin Guan Yin looks very similar just judging from appearances, but it's only marginally cheaper. Probably the same price by the time you add shipping from China. But try their Long Juans or Rou Gui and see.
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby Rayuela » Jan 16th, '12, 12:30

Wan Ling Tea House (either UK or Shanghai branch) do quite a good range of green TGY. The Jiu Jiu Jiu and Zheng Wei are very good and a fair bit cheaper than Teavana. And even the standard "house" Bai Mu Dan is fine if you're brewing Western style (i.e. not much leaf and a fair amount of water).

http://www.wanlingteahouse.com/section. ... oolong-tea

I wouldn't necessarily recommend any of their other teas though.
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby teaisme » Jan 17th, '12, 17:51

tingjunkie wrote:On closer inspection, Jing's Autumn Jin Guan Yin looks very similar just judging from appearances, but it's only marginally cheaper.


Now that's a nice tea right there, the AAA will make you forget all about your monkey picked :mrgreen:
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby Intelligen_tea_... » Jan 17th, '12, 19:00

Infusion wrote:Has anyone come across a specific tea that tastes like Teavana's Monkey Picked Oolong? I understand it's a ti guan yin type of tea, but I haven't found a TGY that tastes similar to it yet. Again, I'm looking for specific recommendations.

Thanks!



I haven't had any experience with Jing tea, but the website looks like it reflects a company that is truly dedicated to selling wonderful, high quality teas.

I might add to the list:

1. Seven Cups Monkey Picked Oolong -- at 11.90 per 50 grams, it is more than half the price of Teavana's tea of the same name. It is an extremely similar tea, with the added bonus of being sustainably produced.

2. Intelligentsia Baozhong -- I can't speak for the current batch of this tea, but the batch from two years ago? I swear that it was scented with jasmine flowers.

3. Seven Cups High mountain Tieguanyin -- this is a truly spectacular tea with complex floral and fruit aromas. If monkey picked from Teavana or Seven Cups satisfy you, this tea will blow you away. It is also a bit cheaper than Teavana's Monkey Picked oolong.
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby Infusion » Jan 18th, '12, 13:32

All of these suggestions have been wonderful, thank you so much. I especially like the Seven Cups website, the way it is laid out and the descriptions of the tea (including the color when brewed) are very helpful and informative. I will probably start there and try some of the other vendors next.
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby tingjunkie » Jan 20th, '12, 00:41

Happy we could help. I'm pretty sure these other teas will make you forget all about Teavana. :wink:
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby Infusion » Apr 22nd, '12, 13:17

intelligen_tea_a wrote:I haven't had any experience with Jing tea, but the website looks like it reflects a company that is truly dedicated to selling wonderful, high quality teas.

I might add to the list:

1. Seven Cups Monkey Picked Oolong -- at 11.90 per 50 grams, it is more than half the price of Teavana's tea of the same name. It is an extremely similar tea, with the added bonus of being sustainably produced.

2. Intelligentsia Baozhong -- I can't speak for the current batch of this tea, but the batch from two years ago? I swear that it was scented with jasmine flowers.

3. Seven Cups High mountain Tieguanyin -- this is a truly spectacular tea with complex floral and fruit aromas. If monkey picked from Teavana or Seven Cups satisfy you, this tea will blow you away. It is also a bit cheaper than Teavana's Monkey Picked oolong.


I just wanted to report back in case others are trying to find a less expensive alternative to Teavana's Monkey Picked Oolong, that the Seven Cups version is wonderful and a very close match. I just re-ordered a larger bag. I also tried Seven Cups' High mountain Tieguanyin and didn't like it as well. For some reason it didn't seem to have as much flavor as the Seven Cups Monkey Picked.

I'm so happy to have found a great alternative, thanks again for the helpful suggestions!
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby Intelligen_tea_... » Apr 23rd, '12, 11:06

Hi Infusion. I'm so glad you found a tieguanyin that you liked at a more reasonable price. I'm actually surprised that you didn't like Seven Cups High Mountain Tieguanyin, but to each their own. I might add one other suggestion if you're still looking. I just ordered two batches of tieguanyin from a site called Verdant Tea, one autumn harvest 2011 and one spring harvest 2012. I haven't tried them yet, but I'll let you know how they are as soon as I taste them.
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Re: Teavana Monkey Picked Oolong

Postby ImmortaliTEA » Nov 6th, '12, 17:05

Infusion wrote:Right... I'm looking for a similar tasting tea that is not as pricey as $25 for 2 oz.


I find it absolutely disgusting that Teavana sells this grade of TGY for $25/2 oz. When I first started getting into loose leaf tea I drank monkey picked oolong a lot and always wondered if their claims of its rarity and quality were justified. Once I started experimenting with many different online vendors, I soon came to find that absolutely any Tie Guan Yin I could find (even the very cheapest ones @ $30/2 kg) was vastly superior as well as much more fresh than Teavana's Monkey Picked. I found out through a friend that worked at one location that their teas (especially the ever popular monkey picked) sit in the back of the stores for at least six months and the 2 lb. bags aren't even airtight and that's after being in their major warehouses for even longer. When it comes to light green TGY, freshness is a very important component and any tea this old has lost pretty much all of its subtleties and nuances. Literally any vendor should offer a better green TGY but here are a few that I enjoyed in order from greatest to worst:

1) Jkteashop.com
2) Jingteashop.com
3) Redblossomtea.com
4) Adagio.com
5) Enjoyingtea.com
6) Dragon Tea House (search in google)

Trust me there are plenty more too. Please don't waste your time at Teavana. They care nothing about quality of tea or about making the customer happy. They only care about how many new locations in random malls they can open across the country and up-selling thousands of people stale tea and $300 Enameled "Cast Iron".
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