Personally I think this is the best 2009 charcoal roast Tie Guan Yin I've tasted. It's made by a group of tea professionals who have been working hard for years to revive the traditional Tie Guan Yin. Due to the change of tea tree materials in recent decades, they are not there yet. But they are closer and closer to the goal.
A relevant question is, is it worth it paying all these efforts to make traditional Tie Guan Yin? Obviously the market doesn't favor it. In Chinese market, modern green style dominates the Tie Guan Yin market. Most so called roasted Tie Guan Yin products are left over tea from previous years, not carefully roasted, not with charcoal. Even traditional green style Tie Guan Yin (featured with warmer fragrance and fruity aroma) is not as much favored as modern green style.
Anecdotally it is observed that many seasoned Tie Guan Yin drinkers tend to more and more prefer traditional style and charcoal roast tea. But these are just a small group of tea drinker, compared with the entire market. Some teas, including traditional Tie Guan Yin and other products, are appreciated more by tea professionals and seasoned tea drinkers, rather than by the entire tea drinker population. These teas are often called "Shi Fu Tea" (Shi Fu 師傅 meaning a skillful tea worker). I don't know how the market will finally respond to such "Shi Fu Tea". But I like traditional Tie Guan Yin very much and have found it more mellow to the stomach than modern style. So I hope these people keep their good work going!
(Small scale wholesale of this tea is available while supplies last.)
2 weeks ago