Hurray! Something interesting :)
After the disappointing tuo chas, I’m actually glad that I have no idea what to think about this.
From the beginning, I was fascinated by this tea and I really wanted to like it. I opened up the bag and was baffled – it was so much smokier than I had expected! I brought it around to my dad who likes whiskies and asked his opinion. First he said it smelled like a wet campfire which is, I think, what it was reminding me of. Then I mentioned the whiskey aspect and how it was made and he said he could absolutely see that.
My sister thought it smelled fabulous. I’m still on the fence. The piney scent really smells like some kind of carcinogenic chemical to me.
The flavor isn’t bad… it’s super interesting and less abrasive than the scent.
I’ve never tried anything like this before – the smokiness really lingers in my mouth and I can’t tell if I despise it or if I love it. It is one of the other.
My (vegan) sister mentioned that the scent smells a little like beef jerky – that scent/flavor started coming out more as the tea cooled.

Halfway through the cup I decided I like it :)
I tried adding milk to it at that point. I really like that too! I think this would be the perfect breakfast tea on a rainy day. The smokiness with the fogginess, the dark mellow notes with the color of the day, the sharpness with the drumming of the rain… yup. I’m sold!
ETA – I want to try brewing this for 3 minutes next time and see if it’s easier to drink black.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I’m a writer and as such, am obviously an emotional rollercoaster. I used to drink tea a lot more, but kind of stopped and switched to coffee. Now, after too much stress, I’m completely unable to drink coffee anymore, so I figured tea would fulfill some of my “awake” needs as well as calm my emotions. I’m working my way through a huge selection of samples of pretty much everything, leaving notes so I remember what I like.
I love being adventurous and trying new things, even (especially?) things that sound strange or off-putting. Aside from tea I also enjoy tasting wines. The last really interesting one I tried was a dandelion wine! (And yes, it actually was delicious. Extremely bizarre and herby, but delicious).

I don’t have a set of numerical ratings set down yet, mainly because I’m very intuitive (read: disorganized and opinionated) about how I rate things. Basically, If something is in the 70-85 range, it’s pretty good, totally drinkable. Below that, in the 50-69 range, it was probably incredibly boring. I really hate boring tea. Below 50, I wouldn’t drink it again and might not have finished it (I actually really hate leaving ratings below 50, it makes me feel bad. I’m probably too nice). If it’s above 85 then I really liked it. Super high ratings are reserved for teas that totally blew me away.



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