This tea is definitely a disappointment. The first whiff smells SO good, I just want to eat it—definite cherry-chocolate going on there with even a hint of creaminess. Steeped, though, it looses this magical quality and becomes more standard. The leaves are very crushed and tiny, definitely broken as others have noted, and I think the black base is wayyyy to strong. I think a soft black would have gone well (I am really dying to blend my own cherry/cream/chocolate mix with Sinharaja as the base), but it’s an overpowering astringent taste. I really like astringent teas but on their own, not with a dessert blend like this. I want this to be a soothing, comforting tea, not one that makes me wide awake.
I also have issues steeping this—at 2 minutes the black tea is juuuust right, not bitter or overpowering, but it’s kind of hard to taste the cherry/chocolate combo. At 5 you get a ton of cherry/chocolate and a hint of creaminess, but the base is too strong. It’s really a conundrum, because any time in the middle yields mediocre tea/taste combos. I prefer the longer steep with cooler water and cream & sugar, but that’s a lot of work for what I really want to be a simple dessert tea.