This stuff rocks. I treat myself to it when I want something robust but I’m not quite in the mood for coffee and its epic dehydrating powers.
It’s most interesting at 4.5 minutes, 2 pearls per 8oz. The cocoa notes are really there — no finely-tuned connoisseur bullshit. A bit astringent, very full-bodied, and ultra satisfying. There’s maltiness there, but it isn’t dominant. When brewed for 5+ minutes, the maltiness overwhelms the complexity and it tends toward a typical Irish Breakfast-y taste.
The second infusion is good and strong, but nothing special — again, more like an Irish Breakfast tea. I usually just toss it after the first infusion or rebrew for a housemate.