This one is really changing, and like it, my preferences change from day to day and mood to mood. I’ve steeped it several different ways, and only once was I able to get the sweetness that made me love it in the first place. Even when I first sampled it, it was a weak orchid that changed into a sweeter lilac that reminded me so much of plumeria. I liked the Milk Oolong most, then this one became my favorite. Now, I prefer the Milk Oolong more again save one day of a singular, stronger brew. The cost of a gram per ounce or more is great, so I try to use less water for less grams or stay with it lightened. Even when this tea is fainter, though, I keep on welcoming it and it comes as an honored guest. It will always be a must try for anyone, but nothing will compare to the way it was when I made it sweet by accident. Perhaps I’m romanticizing the favored experience, but I swear it was just as sweet as the Milk Oolong was, tasting of plumeria, warm milk, and a dash of caramel.
Now, it’s been a few days, the smell has changed from orchid, to plumeria, to lilac, and back to orchid now. I miss the sweetness so much, but I couldn’t bring myself to add sugar to it. A stronger brew with more leaves and time is the best way that I can get it to be sweet again. The same wonderful notes pervade, with more butter and cream some days, more vegetal others, but a transformation of flowers persists. I wish I wrote down what I did when I rated this as a 98 because I still miss it. Nevertheless, this tea still does what a good Tie Guan Yin is supposed to do: provide serenity in a cup of purity. The plumeria smell remains, and I continue to think back to Hawaii when my life was more fortunate. A divine gift from the Goddess of Mercy indeed.
And now, I don’t know what to rate it. Some days it’s been a 90, others an 85, and unfortunately some days a 80 or 75 because of how faint I brewed it. I’ll keep on coming back to this one for I will be drinking it for days. For those of you who are trying to decide whether or not to try it, look down at my first review that is on the bottom of this particular review.
….but then I figured it out! Less water, hotter water just under boiling, more leaves! 15 seconds, then 30, then add fifteen subsequently at 1-1.5 grams per ounce. Sweet plumeria, you have returned!