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