Let me tell you… this tea tastes WAY better than it smells. I can’t even keep it around my other teas, the smell is so strong. Before I drank it the first time, I was a bit hesitant to drink it because of the smell. I do like the FLAVOR though. I’ve drank this tea before (not sure why I didn’t leave a tasting note) but the local newspaper said to try maple syrup in tea. I didn’t know why I didn’t think of this myself. I thought I’d try a spoonful of the maple in this tea, as sort of a tree theme (you know, maple syrup, pine-smoked tea…) It is GOOD. I have never sweetened any tea with anything before. I usually like to drink tea by itself (and I get enough sugar elsewhere in my diet – I don’t need sugar in the one thing I eat that doesn’t have sugar in it!) The rating for this tea, is for how I might rate it without the maple in it. By itself, the tea is a nice smoky black. But occasionally, why not add a bit of maple to a cuppa tea?