I received a free sample of this tea after my last tasting note, though I was and am still certain that the problem is me and not the tea. There have been a few teas I loved at first and then the second time around, not so much. Maybe the flavor of this one was affected by something I ate the first time I had it or maybe I brewed it ‘just right.’
There are at least three black teas I can think of that I liked originally, but then all of a sudden I noticed a woody flavor that my palate was previously oblivious to. I recognize this as a flavor profile that many people enjoy, so it’s certainly not a bad quality for the tea.
To be certain and fair I brewed a cup of the new sample. I can say that this tea is definitely affected by time and water temperature. I find it the least woody with a 2 min steep (at 195F), but if you like the stronger woodiness or a bolder flavor in general, 3+ minutes is best.