I have to admit that I was a bit frightened of this tea. I’ve had them in my cart to buy every time I ordered with Mandala and I’ve gotten spooked each time. So I am very happy that Garret included a sample with my last order.
I did the recommended 3 rinses on this one.
1st Steep-30 seconds
Perhaps a bit too earthy for me on the first steep. I didn’t hate the taste though. It was very earthy but there was a nice sweetness to it. I’m interested to see how this mellows.
2nd Steep-45 seconds
I get what people mean when they say a tea smells “barnyard.” Because this one kind of does. I didn’t find it at all unpleasant though. It actually brought back lovely childhood memories. The taste was very smoky. Kind of like a sweeter Lapsang.
3rd Steep-1 minute
It still smells a bit musty but it’s fading to a nice leathery note. The taste, however, is fantastic. Naturally sweet with a brown sugar, raisin note. There is also a wine-like tang that I find very appealing even though I hate wine. I don’t know quite what to make of this tea but all the feelings I have are positive.
4th Steep-1.30 minutes
It’s mellowing out in a very nice way. It’s a bit roasty and nutty like coffee with a nice chocolaty flavor. Kind of like Nutella on whole wheat toast.
5th Steep-2 minutes
Very light but still a bit roasty and nutty. It doesn’t seem to be weakening very much at all.
6th Steep-10 minutes
I always manage to forget about the last steep. This is very light with a very surprising floral note. After the roasty toasty of the previous steep, the floral note is very shocking and a great note to finish on.
This tea started out so bold and finished so gently. I liked it a lot. Perhaps not an everyday tea but when I need a good kick in the pants, I would definitely reach for this one first.
P.S. I don’t think I will ever see my team win again.