I made a mug of this with a moderately-heaped teaspoon (it’s one of those long, straggly teas – difficult to spoon out accurately) steeped for two and a half minutes with water that had been left for several minutes to cool (the instructions are for 80°C and two to three minutes).
I thought at first that I’d brewed it a bit weak as it was very pale in the mug – rather like a green tea – but there was a quite pronounced aroma to it: somewhere between good soil, rotting wood and freshly ripped-up cardboard. There may have been a hint of chocolate just on the very edge of my sense of smell.
The very first word into my mind on tasting it was ‘satisfying’ – as in that advert where someone sips the tea, goes “Aaah!” and relaxes back into their chair. It had good basic tea flavour, earthiness, an Oxo-like meatiness and a bright, fruity element that I can’t quite pin down, but is somewhere between cherry, grape and, possibly, liquorice. Again, I thought I detected just the tiniest hint of chocolate.
I really enjoyed that mug – complex, satisfying and relaxing. Having said that, I can’t really say the same about the second and third brewings. The tea is described as suitable for multiple infusions and I made two more mugs, brewing exactly the same way, with the same tea. I don’t really know what’s going on here: the second and third mugs had all the same elements as the first, perhaps with the chocolate being a little more noticeable, and I couldn’t detect the third as being any weaker than the second; but they were both definitely weaker than the first, especially the aroma. The result was that they didn’t have for me that mellow, satisfying thing going on.
ETA – I forgot to mention that with the third mug I thought the fruity element was developing a touch of bitterness.