Oo, this one is definitely different from my usual tea type. I’m going to have to have it more than once.
The first thing that hits me is the pine smoke smell – which is one that I’m very fond of, but not at all used to having in my tea. The anise and chocolate almost disappear underneath it while the tea is still very hot, but once it’s cooled a bit, they sneak out in the aftertaste quite nicely.
This tea definitely needs a few minutes to settle after it’s brewed; the flavors blend more, and the smoke settles down to an astringent sort of flavor that is quite strong but not overpowering.
I’m certainly not sorry I got it, though I’m not sure if it’s a regular keeper for me. (I have a couple of friends who are very fond of smoked teas and I want to see what they think of it.) I can see why it got the name it did – this tea is the sort one would be drinking next to a fireplace on a cold rainy night when the power’s gone out. It’s the right sort of flavor for that. (Not for a sunny morning in April when the cherry blossoms are going gangbusters outside my window so much. But that’s all right – I have a functional imagination.)
If you don’t like smoke, this is definitely not a good tea for you. Otherwise, I quite like it for what it is.