I am finally getting to this tea never mind I’ve drank it for the past month. There is a long relationship I’ve had with roasted Tie Guan Yin.
Here’s the story. When I started my Steepster quest, I was an ex black coffee drinker trying to give up my old habit. Dark roasted oolongs were often recommended to such a drinker, and thanks to Andrew, I got into the world of oolong. He was nice enough to teach me with a series of samples. A few of those samples were aged and roasted Tie Guan Yins, which had the oddest taste I’ve had in a tea. I can dig some roast and some vanilla in the natural profiles of my tea, but this particular variety tastes and smells like mahogany paint stain. Ever since, there was only one dark Tie Guan Yin that I really enjoyed was one from Whispering Pines. Andrew and I both liked it, and while he was far more experienced and became even more experienced with aged teas, I was still left wanting. I continued to drink coffee anyway.
So while he is concocting his experimental blends, he decided to use some of his vanilla flavoring skills (insert white joke here) to revive something out of this old Tie Guan Yin. The antique table taste is still there with its charred texture, but sweetened by the vanilla. The vanilla might be just enough to convince a tea nooby, but a newbie who drinks black coffee. A more experienced or intermediate tea drinker who loves roast and vanilla are the best targets in my opinion. The wood and char taste might dissuade a few.
Summary: If you are one of those old souls who loves the smell of leather books, mahogany, and the taste of a warm, roasted drink in the morning, this is your tea.