I received this from Geoff via seykayay — thank you both!
As everyone else has said, this is quite a unique tea (thanks LiberTeas for enlightening me on italics). The closest tea to it in my experience is Mellow Monk’s Top Leaf. No, of course that’s an entirely different tea. However, this as well as the top leaf opened with a very strong earthy note that to me, honestly made me think of their growing regions (both of which, Hawaii and Aso, are volcanic).
Besides that strong earth ‘volcanic’-seeming flavor, I felt like it was pretty smokey. People have mentioned it being like grilled fruit, but I unfortunately didn’t get the fruit part. I detected a very subtle aroma of fruit in the wet leaves (which yes they were pretty, whole, and large), and immediately hoped it would be present in the flavor/aroma of the tea. Alas, I pretty much got the grilled part and none of the sweet or fruit.
It was a little starchy after the grilled/smokiness faded. Unlike other people, this actually went for 3 full steepings: 1TB leaf, 4oz water (each time), 4 mins, 2 mins, and 5 mins.
Being that this is quite an expensive tea, I wouldn’t buy it because I didn’t love it (but I did enjoy it). At the same time, it was really a fun one to get to try. Thanks again for those who shared with me!