This one is one that I selected specifically, as an alternative to the lapsang Angel was initially going to send me.
Dry leaf smells very strong. I think I’d have to agree with the malty/grainy description on the current reviews. It’s hearty and almost a bit earthy. And maybe a little sour? Maybe not. But just sort of thick and hearty and warm, and hopefully the cure for my late last night ice cream induced headache this morning.
Brewed, I get a a very dark liquid. Perhaps I used too much leaf. I used my bamboo spoon from Teavana. First sips, unadulterated, I got the same malty and grainy notes, with maybe slight smoke, or something that had a sharp taste to it. I could not really pick up any caramel. I had to sweeten it, and of course add milk. With it sweetened, I picked up a sort of raisin like note, though perhaps that was more caramel…but it tasted like raisin to me.
I’m not as in love with this tea as I was hoping, but perhaps I wasn’t as diligent on the preparation and used too much leaf or let it steep too long, or perhaps my headache has got the best of me and I just can’t judge this properly. I’m about to re-steep though.