First of all, how do they get the leaves shaped into those little balls?? Is this what CTC tea looks like? I’ve never seen it before but I kind of like it.
Anywayyy, I did NOT like the way this tea smelled when I first steeped it. It seemed to have some kind of wet vegetable smell like weird cabbage or something. When I first tasted it, I thought it tasted that way too. But after a few sips I started getting this honey-maltiness? And a little bitterness that really came out in the aftertaste. This is really unlike any other tea I’ve had, it seems like there’s a lot of subtleties to it. I can see how it would be described as “earthy” too. Also I find it pretty astringent but not offensively so. As it cools I get more of the honey taste.
In the end, I really like this tea. I’ll break it out when I have time to sit down and appreciate it. I tried it straight up this time just because it was my first time tasting it, but next time I’m gonna try it with some sugar as Tina S. suggested.