The leaf of this tea looks like it is CTC. The scent after brewing is somewhere between a light smoke and freshly cut tomatoes. The flavor is strong. It’s astringent but not bitter. Very pleasant and robust. The flavor works on its on, but could also go well with spicy or heavily seasoned food. This tea reminds me of a tippy Yunnan black I used to have: earthy, smokey, and bold.
I kept the second steep at the same parameters because the first steep was so strong. The flavor evolved with a stronger mineral flavor while cutting back on the smokiness. This steep is much less astringent and in your face. I prefer this steep to the first.
Overall Impressions: This is an enjoyable everyday tea. I could see myself using this is a travel mug because it doesn’t go bitter, and strong enough to pair well with food. It’s a good tea for this snowy winter season and I’ll be enjoying many more cups of this tea.
Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Tobacco