I took a lot of time studying this tea before reviewing. It was like riding a bronco. At first, I hated it, and was annoyed with how temperamental it can be ( I over steeped it many times). However, as time went on and I figured it out a little more I came to enjoy its complexity and energy. 175F for 4 minutes is the sweet spot for me. It is extremely astringent and bitter overall, heavily spicy, but with a mild body. The soup produced is a medium golden color. Tastes mostly of black pepper with a basil/cilantro aftertaste – there is a tinge of smokiness throughout but not the type of smoke you would experience in a Lapsang souchong. The energy of the tea is invigorating and refreshing; and of special note. I’m not sure I will order anytime soon, but I could see myself ordering it down the road as an evening tea. It was an interesting experience overall.
Flavors: Astringent, Herbs, Pepper, Smoke, Spicy