100 Tasting Notes
At the first sip I was taken aback by the upfront deep smokiness of this tea. Kind of a sharp snap-to for the morning senses. But as I grew more awake I started to enjoy its smooth, full bodied, earthy depth. Rich like a pu-erh but a lot more smokey. With the first cup, each post-sip exhale gave the sensation of exhaling pipe smoke. Second cup seemed to be a touch sweeter and less smokey. I found the lychee to be a little subtle, but it’s there and complements the smokiness perfectly. I would come back to this tea in the same frame of mind in which I’d seek out the kind of friend with whom you have deep, serious conversations. An enjoyable contemplation tea…
This tea has good personality with an unambiguous smokey roasted aroma and taste. I got more of a roasted walnut experience mingling with charred peppers. The flavor lingers in the mouth longer than most teas I’ve tried, evoking an amusing sensation of exhaling roasty smoke out of the nose. I enjoyed this sample but the astringent aftertaste went on too long for me to put this in my regular rotation. If you like a strong roasted flavor you would enjoy trying this tea.
The aroma and flavor profile of this tea are enjoyable – cocoa and cinnamon with a hint of spice. But that blend doesn’t carry the bland thinness of it, unfortunately. This is especially noticeable for puerh drinkers anticipating some depth to dive into. If you’re willing to give it a double or triple bag infusion its personality would probably pick up, but I haven’t taken that route. Adding a touch of almond milk added body and seemed to intensify the flavor a bit, so that’ll be its destiny.
I have had a few “wow” moments with this tea, which is always a welcome surprise. “Wow” anything is nice, of course, but tea doesn’t often engender that response from me. More like “mmmm” most of the time if it’s good.
The first wow was inhaling the fragrance of the initial steep: it was like stepping outside on an early spring day… thinking about it (“what is that familiar fragrance?”) I realized it’s lilac. Your first whiff of lilac in the spring. Actually fooled me for a second into feeling like I’m not locked into winter here on the east coast. Then as I drank it it was just like honeysuckle, one of my all-time favorite scent experiences. This continued in subsequent steeps. I’m not too fond of any floral tastes or scents in tea, but this tea’s front floral personality coupled with its butteriness just kept making me smile with enjoyment.
Loved this tea. Inhaling the first steam from the rinse elicited a rare, spontaneous “wow” that pretty much held through to the final sip. The brew doesn’t have the dark intensity of other puerhs I’ve tried — it’s more silky than velvety yet somehow equally satisfying in its subtlety. A little smoky but very clean. I’d agree with the company’s “malty” description, but in an understated, well-balanced way; it’s a great full-mouth flavor that’s reminiscent of the gentle, rich scent of leaves walking through the woods in autumn. There is mild astringency after a long brew, but that wouldn’t deter me from drinking it frequently, because it is delicious.
Also don’t know why the box says caffeine free, since mate has about 50% the caffeine of coffee: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerba_mate
It tastes more like carob than chocolate to me. The bag yields a fairly weak cup; a little tastier once I added almond milk, but still wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase this. Would be better if the bags were filled with more than a scant 1 1/2 teaspoons. Next time I’ll use 2 bags.