Interesting tea, well worth drinking, but not for the less adventurous among us. After washing and awakening the half toucha I used, the air was filled with a pronounced wild, vegetal aroma with a sweetness bordering on unpleasantness. It was not offensive, but probably would back off some people, but that is as far as it went. We have a horse farm located about 4 miles from a very famous bourbon distillery here in central KY, the aroma of this tea is very reminiscent of that of roasting sour mash from the distillery. Initially strong and perhaps unpleasant, but quickly turning comforting and reassuring that all is as it should be.
First steep – Lt color (think Ginger ale)
– The first taste begins innocently enough, unremarkable, however, when reaching mid-palate, things start to get interesting. A rather unexpected taste begins rising. A green taste, but not of grass, more like arugula,a peppery, vegetal taste. Surprising, yet not unpleasant. The finish is clean while leaving a lingering tingle — no astringency or bitterness.
Overall first infusion: Light color, uneventful beginning, surprising mid-palate flavor with a clean, complete and memorable finish.
2nd infusion: 30 sec.
Darker color, more refined aroma- definitely moving into a more familiar “tea” smell. The taste is still building as if we are travelling deeper into the forest. Woodsy and wild, becoming more complex.
This is not a great tea, but it is a pleasant adventure. It evolves quickly and even after 4 or 5 infusions, changes, albeit predictable, are still occurring. The only truly bad aspect I found was that when this tea cools bitterness appears. Almost to the point of undrinkability.
Not a tea to drink everyday, but good on occasion and I’m sure it would work well with chili or vinegar.