(1st steep: 4 min) My first thought with this tea is that it is a subtler Lapsang Souchong. There is a definite smokey armoa and flavor to it, but not as strong as I have come to expect from Lapsang Souchong. There is a slight pine resin flavor to it as well. It finishes with a slight earthiness that I would expect from a pu-erh. However, since I am fighting a cold and needed something a little stronger this morning, this tea is a good choice. Hopefully, it holds up over a couple more re-steepings.
(2nd steep: 4 min 30 sec) Surprisingly, the tea has all of the same aromas as the first steeping. A good bit of the smoke flavor has disappeared from the the tea, but has been replaced by a subtle chocolate flavor. The earthiness overpowers the pine resin as well. I have a feeling this tea will become more complex as I continue steeping it.
(3rd steep: 5 min) Much of the original smoke aroma is now gone. However, there is a still a nice earthy aroma present in the tea. It reminds me of many of the black teas that I enjoy. I don’t have a better description than that. A surprising change in the flavor is the addition of a slightly sweet stone fruit flavor. Something between lychee and peach. It blends well with the reduced flavors and adds a new layer to this tea. Something I forgot to mention but has been noticeable through all steepings is a lack of astringency. This tea allows the flavors to remain after the tea has been swallowed.
I would recommend this tea for a nice lazy Saturday or Sunday morning when you have time to sit and enjoy the multiple steepings. Great coffee substitute.
Flavors: Chocolate, Earth, Lychee, Pine, Stonefruits