My co-favorite of the samples provided by sTEAp Shoppe. The smoke is heavy by my standards, but it isn’t overwhelming and it never feels like someone dumped an ashtray in your cup. This is a good kind of smoky. It blends really well with the other flavors. There is a bite in the back of the throat. The smell, the bite, and the aftertaste remind me of rooibos – though this is better and more complex. A few more sips and now this reminds me of the smell of sawdust when you are running a dull circular saw through a fresh piece of pine – kind of woodsy, kind of burnt.
In cup two the smoke does not diminish, rather the oolong just comes out of hiding a little more. It gives it a nice floral note. The throat bite is not so noticeable in this cup. This is maybe even a little better than the first. If not better, at least different. Nice.
I went three cups with this one. It was lighter than the first two. Though the smoke still stands out this is a civilized cup. A pleasant ending to this tea.
One thing I noted is that if you let the cup get cold, the taste of this tea perks up even more.
It is pretty intense. Unless you are a huge smoky tea fan, I am not sure you would want it everyday. That being said, it is different than the normal fare and just happens to be really good.