When I first drank this congou I was shocked by its mustiness. There’s a certain funkiness to it that will definitely scare off the Earl Grey crowd. Yet it’s grown on me in the seven months that I’ve been steeping it, and I hope that Upton will get new stock before my (wonderfully affordable) 125g bag goes empty. The dry leaf smells sweetly of plum and wood, and steeps up a deep chocolate (in a white mug) or amber (in a glass) liquor.

The liquor has a velvety texture, and gives off a slight sweetness that’s countered by a nice tartness, creating an overall fruity impression, though it’s still fairly dry. The aromatics I can identify: pickled plum, pleasant mulch/forest wetness, and some sort of brown root-based Korean traditional medicine whose name escapes me.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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