I usually like to stick to the strong points of a country’s tea offerings. For me, that means I get greens from Japan, Oolongs from China/Taiwan, etc. i decided to give this Japanese black tea a shot because of the great description and cool sounding name. The leaves are a dark gray, not quite black, hue. they are medium sized with some long (3/4") brown sticks in there. It smells, honestly, like green tea, not black. In contrast, the brew smells decidedly black, very much like Chinese black tea, in fact. The color is that of a dark reddish brown stained wood. It brews very clean with little sediment at the bottom of the cup, when using my Bodum mesh steel basket.
There’s a strong tanin (bitterness) in the tea but nothing out of the ordinary for a black. It is a fairly thin brew, with not much viscosity. I am drinking this as a morning tea but I can see it working as a late afternoon one as well.