I tried three 8 oz steepings with 1 teaspoon of these leaves, 2 min at about 175F each time.
The dry leaves smell like dry hay and, unexpectedly, chocolate.
The leaves partially unfurled. The liquor has a powerful nutty aroma that I can smell with my face feet away from the cup as I pour it. Putting my nose down in the cup gives the nutty aroma plus a weaker aroma of something like something with sauteed onions. The appearance is a very light yellow green liquor, crystal clear.
The taste is light and smooth, with a slightly creamy feel and a body that is surprising for something so faint in color that only steeped 2 minutes.
This has a strong nutty flavor and a pleasant amount of light bitterness. There is little sweet and less than gum-tingling astringency. Swishing around my mouth turns the nutty flavor to something more like coconut. There is a sweet and bitter aftertaste, with a faint bitter coming in first and then a stronger sweet remaining.
This cup of tea went fast.
There are several nice sized dots of tea oil floating on the surface of this cup. The liquor is greener and darker in color. There is significantly less nutty aroma. The creaminess is gone, leaving the nutty flavor and some bitterness. Astringency is more present.
There is a slight vegetal, green flavor moving in reminding me of, edamame?! The nutty flavor gets some mint character.
The aftertaste makes me think “Wow.” It is an almost tangible sweet with some floral notes.
The nuttiness is stronger and harsher. I make my rating based on this more complex and interesting cup.
My stomach feels full and sloshy, and I’m not sure where this tea is going (will it get meaner?), but I forge ahead. . .
The color is lighter and much more brown than green. There is an aroma of steamed edamame over the cup, but the aroma is light overall.
This taste gets an “ooohh” from me; it tastes like the water used to steam a batch of edamame but with a sweet kick, and not sugar sweet, but tea sweet. The edamame is the only real flavor note. Bitterness is gone, and a bit of creaminess has come back.
The “ka-pow” aftertaste is gone, replaced by just a respectable sweet aftertaste.
My fears were unfounded. The 2nd steep gave up all the leaves’ fierceness. This cup is mellow and friendly. The volume of the flavor is on the order of something like the first steep of Tazo China Green Tips.
I appreciate that this adventure in a cup has been made available in an affordable sampler. I think I could be happy enjoying just the first and second steeps here.