Warning: Long note ahead! At heart (and work) I am a scientist. I take copious notes when I am in the mood.
The dry leaf smell is definitely Roasted Green Tea. Yum. The leaves are large, and not as tightly furled as other teas I’ve had, but tight enough to not be fully unfurled after a two minute steep.
It came as a generous sample in a vacuum sealed, plastic lined, foil baggie with a large, clearly printed label. The label is colorful, which is nice, but provide no brewing instructions. The back side of the package is clear so you can see the tea leaves. I quite like the packaging, but I wonder if the transparent packaging will protect it from UV at all.
I washed my leaves in room temp water before brewing.
The post-steep smell of the leaves is the normal slightly floral smell of green tea. Not overly fresh, but it has lost the roasted smell.
The first steep was strong in roasted smell and taste, almost to the edge of a bit too dark for my tastes, but still definably green tea.
The second steep is still pretty strong on all notes. 1:30 steep. Perhaps I added too much leaf. The leaves are still not all the way unfurled.
This is probably one of those I would end up resteeping again and again and again merely because it still has robust flavor, but because of how strong it is, but it’s not one that I would WANT to have gallons and gallons of unless I was serving a bunch of people for dinner. The tea is not too strong to distract from the flavor of food, but IMO not one I personally would showcase .
On the other hand, it is still giving up a good burst of caffeine with each steep. Probably more suited to a morning/afternoon tea than an evening tea.
The third steep is at a nice level for me, still fragrant, but not too dark or robust. But I tend to like my teas on the lighter side to the tongue while fragrant to the nose. I believe most of the leaves have unfurled, but they’re still crinkly.
I’m going to stop and save the fourth steep for the morning, else I may be up all night. Stem to leaf ratio is smaller than I tend to expect, but that’s probably contributing that ongoing strong flavor.
This tea was not what I was expecting, but it wasn’t a bad tea. It’ll probably need experimenting with until I figure out the best way to brew it to my personal tastes. Overall, I think it’s a good everyday type green if you’re one that likes the taste of roasted greens. I might brew it in the mornings if I need a strong pick-me-up and take the rest to-go. Next time I brew, I’ll probably try using less leaf (if I remember).
I was sent this sample free for review and am under no obligations to provide a positive review. I’m using the ingenuiTEA by Adagio Teas.