Just got my order in yesterday and had some of this last night. I steeped it for only 4 minutes and was slightly underwhelmed, but I just steeped some for 5 minutes and that seems to do the trick. I feel prepared to comment properly now.
First off, what struck me first was the smell of the dry leaves. “Why does it smell like beef jerky?” was my immediate thought last night, and I checked again tonight to see if I’d imagined it — nope, still smells like beef jerky. Fortunately I have been reading the Harney and Sons tea guide and now I know why it does. This tea incorporates Lapsang Souchong, so that explains the smokiness. With the shorter steeping time I didn’t get the smokiness in the brew, but tonight I can taste it. I can also smell it from the brewed tea. Very interesting! I could really get to like this. I will definitely get some Lapsang sometime soon to which to compare.
This is a good “wintertime” tea, I would bet. It doesn’t have the heavy caramelly tone I’m used to with Golden Monkey but is much lighter in taste No astringency at all, not even when it begins to cool. Color is a dark amber brown.
2 tsp tea brewed for 5 minutes with boiling water, with 2 tsp rock sugar, no milk.