Most black tea I’ve tried has this really distinct flavor that I can’t seem to pick apart, so in my head I’ve just labeled it as “black tea flavor.” This tea has that. I took a sip and it was all, “O hai! I’m in ur cup, blackin ur tea.”
It doesn’t have any smokiness, but it doesn’t quite read as “smooth” to me. It’s somewhere in between the two, which would almost be unsettling if it wasn’t sweet. It’s a pleasant kind of sweet; I enjoy it. And it helps with the bitterness that greets you at the tail of the sip.
About halfway through the cup I started to notice that it was drying my mouth out a bit. Not a ton, but enough to be noticeable. Also, the cocoa started to really come through, especially when combined with that bitter taste at the end. It was much more noticeable when I was inhaling, and if I kept my mouth closed and breathed in through my nose I could taste it a bit, too.
The last little bit of what I had in my cup got rather cool, which confirmed my suspicion that this tea runs best for me when it’s between hot and lukewarm. Overall, a pleasant tea that doesn’t really stand out all that much. Might be good for a lazy afternoon spent perusing the newspaper.