Upon opening the package and smelling this tea, even before steeping, it’s got a slightly toffee aroma. Not overly-sweet, but sort of dark and sweet and almost like…actually, no. It’s more like marzipan than toffee. As I said, not overly-sweet.
As it steeps, it turns a pleasant reddish-brown colour, as you can see in the stock photo. Actually, as it gets closer to time (I steeped for the full 3 minutes, as I like most teas stronger rather than weaker), the reddish brown gets a little deeper…almost like the skin of a chestnut. Very nice. The smell of chestnuts gets stronger, too. I grow more apprehensive…I like roasted chestnuts well enough, but I’m not sure how I feel about warm chestnut juice. Hrrm.
First sip is pleasantly toasty and mellow, with none of even the “subtle bitterness” the description describes. A half-teaspoon of sugar gives it that tiny little bit of levity it needed, and now the chestnut flavour is bright and vibrant. It really does taste exactly like roasted chestnuts! (I’ve no clue about the Paris part, as I unfortunately have yet to go there. Though I think we may have driven past Paris, Texas once upon a time. But I digress, as usual. :) )
There’s not much tea taste underneath the chestnut, but at the same time, I wouldn’t say that the chestnut is overpowering. It’s more like they’ve melded together so well that I can’t distinguish them.
While I don’t use it as much in daily life as I’d perhaps like, I’m still awfully glad I’ve retained some of my Japanese, if only so I can read tea boxes and steep my tea at the right temperature for the right amount of time. Although this came from a new package my friend in Hawaii sent me (that arrived just yesterday, bursting with tea, eeee!), this tea was made in Tokyo…and so was the box. XD