Upon opening the pack, I tried to discern aromas from the dry leaf. There was a faint hint of floral (maybe rose) and a dry, roasted scent. A warmed gaiwan brought out these smells a bit better.If I had only drank the first infusion, I would have passed on this tea. It has a roasted flavor - almost burnt wood mixed with sweet grass -- with a decent body, and a “roughness” around the tongue that I wasn’t sure that I liked. There are very “smooth” teas to drink and this wasn’t one of them. However, it has a decent body, a mild viscosity, and very little astringency that made up for the roughness. Perhaps the 20s infusion was too long? Perhaps it needed a wash? Or perhaps it needed a lower temp?
However, I was committed to seeing this tea out.
Subsequent infusions changed my mind about this tea. Infusions #2+ smoothed out the roughness of the initial infusion. The milder flavors of sweet grass / florals come out to play alongside the roast. While still not as smooth to drink as some other teas, the ‘roughness’ evens out and counterbalances the sweet grass/florals. The tea broth remains consistent in color, body, flavor, and viscoscity, and I was able to get a fair number of infusions out of it.
When I drink this, it has an extremely mild cha qi. I felt the warmth going down my throat and expanding in my chest, and finally in my head. It’s short-lived but there.
Are there better teas out there? Yes.
But for the price @ $0.19 USD / gram, it’s a helluva bargain.
If you need a tea that’s decent, but you don’t really have time for a full session, are traveling, drinking your tea on-the-go, or want a decent enough tea without breaking the bank, consider this tea. For the price, it’s worth checking out.
General Brewing info:
Rinse: I did not do a first wash as I did not think this tea needed it.
tea amount: 5.05 grams (entire pack)
water: 150 ml
general water temp (F): 199-204
Brewing times (seconds): 20-20-30-45-60-90….
Color: orange amber
Flavors: Floral, Sweet, warm grass