This was better than the previously aged Tie Guan Yin I’ve had, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It has that stained wood quality that I’m not a huge fan of, but that note is made up for by its sweet, cedary character. I really understand why sandalwood would be the comparison for it’s spiciness. I made it gongfu, steaped for 30 seconds after five second rinse, and it is sweet and very similar to coffee, but not in a way that you would expect. It has the roasted, sweet berry acidity of coffee, but it tastes more like a coffee berry than anything else. So, surprisingly fruity. I would probably drink this more often in the winter, but not something that I would buy again. I honestly wanted just a sample, but got the full ounce on sale. I’m not sure if I want to steep it a third time though, because the woodsiness is still holding me back.
I think that this tea deserves a higher rating in quality between a 80-95, but in terms of taste, it’s closer to a 65-70 for me because of preference. It might be good western with cream and sugar, though that may be blasphemy. Maybe there are better ways of brewing it that I haven’t figured out yet.
Flavors: Berry, Coffee, Dark Wood, Earth, Sweet, Tar