I have not had a Tie Guan Yin that’s impressed for a while. The medium roasted Tie Guan Yin’s used to be my favorite, starting with Rishi’s version of the tea. It was like drinking liquid graham crackers. Since then, Tie Guan Yins have been two dimensional; they are either vegetal, nuclearly floral, or plain toasty. When I read the description for this one and the Yesheng, however, I got a sense of renewed hope.

Surprisingly, this tea was one of my top five of the sampler. Immensely nutty like almond, cashew, and hazelnut, this one was a little bit more complex than I anticipated. The first few steeps were indeed “coffee-like” with the same kind of toffee finish you get in some coffees with creamer or savory like the graham cracker note I imagine, but immensely nutty while slightly floral. The middle brews shifted to something that reminded me of macademia, while the overall tea maintained its baked character. Later steeps were indeed vegetal and floral like a greener tieguanyin, but still ever so slightly baked.

I got ten cups out of this one, and I was impressed with it. I’d be interested to see people with a more straightforward vocabulary break it down to what this tea is, and I’d also be interested in what someone who is more tacit or even flareful might describe it. This was an interesting tea overall.

Flavors: Almond, Bread, Coffee, Floral, Graham Cracker, Hazelnut, Nuts, Smooth

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First Off, Current Targets:

Whispering Pines Alice
Good Luxurious Work Teas
Wang Family’s Jasmine Shanlinxi
Spring, Winter Taiwan High Mountain Oolongs

Dislikes: Heavy Tannin, Astringency, Bitterness, or Fake Flavor, Overly herby herbal or aged teas

Picky with: Higher Oxidation Oolongs, Red Oolongs (Some I love, others give me headaches or are almost too sweet), Mint Teas

Currently, my stash is overflowing. Among my favorites are What-Cha’s Lishan Black, Amber Gaba Oolong, Lishan Oolong, Qilan Oolong, White Rhino, Kenya Silver Needle, Tong Mu Lapsang Black (Unsmoked); Whispering Pines Alice, Taiwanese Assam, Wang’s Shanlinxi, Cuifeng, Dayuling, Jasmine Shan Lin Xi; Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.“Old Style” Dong Ding, Mandala Milk Oolong; Paru’s Milk Oolong


I am an MSU graduate, and current alternative ed. high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), practice calisthenics on rings, lift weights, workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii. Eastern Asian influence was prominent with my friends and where I grew up, so I’ve been exposed to some tea culture at a young age. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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