The dry leaves are really attractive. There is more variation in appearance from leaf to leaf than any other pure tea I have had; the leaves range from green, light, and thin to dark brown, thick, and twisted.
The smell… intersect a standard Darjeeling with a Rooibos, and add just a drop of grape soda. It is very mild and nice. The taste is even milder. The Darjeeling muscatel notes definitely come through. There is a woodiness, like a tree that is old enough to not smell green anymore, but too young to have the deeper aromas of old bark. There is a hint of baking soda, and after the last sip a light sweetness lingers.
The other day, i went to a tea tasting at the mostly excellent Goldfish Tea in Royal Oak, MI. One of the teas was an oolong, a Wuyi Yan Cha. It was not bad, and the aroma was captivating and powerful, but the liquor was so astringent! But, even steeped with more leaves than Simple Leaf recommends, Tankha is still smooth. Even on the rare occasion astringency results, it is slight. I can’t recall ever having a proper tea that was less mild. It is almost hard to believe that Tankha and Wuyi Yan Cha are even the same type of tea, save for the woody notes.
This mildness is what made Tankha so hard to rate. I’ve had it for several months but have never been able to put my thoughts together on it. Use too few leaves and the resulting brew is too close to being water. There’s almost nothing to be afraid of as far as using too many leaves, other than using up your stash!
So, stay away if you like your oolongs with a kick, but it’s very pleasant.