This is probably one of the best smelling teas I have owned, aside from my Shinchas/Gyokuro (because nothing beats a fresh green). Cinnamon and spices in cider by the fireplace come to mind.
The base is black tea, but it’s absolutely packed with spices, cloves, large bits of citrus peel etc. and it shows through in the end result. It still tastes like tea, but both the taste and the smell strongly reflect that warm cinnamon spiciness. The smooth tea flavor is good, but stays in the background as a base. One could probably write pages dissecting all the flavor notes and the order in which they manifest… but that would miss the point. This blend isn’t about the parts, but about the picture they paint. I’d have liked to see more Lapsang smokiness to go with the feel, but that would be too polarizing for most customers. I will have to blend this with some actual Lapsang and report back.
Be it on a cold winter’s night, or upon getting into the office after standing on a freezing BART station platform at an ungodly early hour, this is the tea equivalent of “Winter Warmer” type beers. Highly recommended if you can find it, at any time it’s cold out, or you just need some comfort tea.