This was another sample with my Mandala order. My initial impressions of this tea weren’t very good. The dry tea kind of smelled fishy to me. I hate fish so I am really sensitive to the smell. It wasn’t intense but it was there and initially it was a turn-off. But I soldiered on and tried the tea anyway.
1st Steep- 1 minute
My first words after taking the first sip were “Holy Crap!”. The tea still keeps a bit of the off smell but the taste is a big ol’shocker. It’s chocolate with a nice cream finish. I spent almost a minute starring at my teacup in shock.
2nd Steep-2 minutes
It still had the “off” smell but this steep was full of chocolate with a bit of nuttiness. I am borderline in love with this tea already.
3rd Steep-3 minutes
This was my favorite steep. It was all Madagascar vanilla bean and whipped cream. Perhaps a bit of a slight peppery bite as well. It was just perfect.
4th Steep-4 minutes
This had a bit of salty/sweet going for it. It still had the vanilla taste but there was a bit of a salty finish to it. Reminded me of salted caramel. So good.
5th Steep-5 minutes
I brewed this final steep at 1am—bad idea but kind of brilliant at the same time. This is probably tied for my favorite steep. It’s much lighter but I am getting a great brown sugar flavor—with no sugar at all in my tea. The salty bite from the last steep also got a bit more intense. So it’s even more like a salted caramel.
I did not want to stop brewing this tea but it was 1am and I had to get up very early. This was quite the lovely tea. It did not give off the best initial impression but once brewed gave off the most lovely of flavors.