Out of the bag this tea smells intensely of dark chocolate and malt. After the initial infusion in a small gongfu pot, the leaves have a cocoa scent with notes of hay and floral.
This first infusion has a really full dark-chocolate like taste with a lingering bitterness just like the chocolate. There are notes of floral as well, but the dark chocolate and malt tastes are the dominant ones. There are some woody notes as well. In terms of sweetness this is one of the less sweet red teas I’ve tried. It is bold.
The second infusion liquor smells like camphor, chocolate, and flowers. The taste is still quite bold with all three elements taking up part of the flavor as well. There’s a bit of apricot too. Further infusions yielded increasingly mild and clean tasting brews. Overall this tea has a bit of a kick to it, which is probably great for those who like their black tea to have bite. On the other hand, I like my black teas to have that little bit of zing but with some creamy or sweet undertones to help anchor it and make a more rounded infusion. This tea lacked those subtler qualities for me, and I found that doing a lighter brew to tone it down seemed to significantly decrease the flavor rather than just making it seem lighter. It seemed hard to avoid the tannic contributions in this tea without missing the flavors altogether. The quality of the tea was good but it falls outside the preferences of my palate. I might recommend it for people who like dark chocolate.
Flavors: Apricot, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Malt, Wood