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.