This is Smoothness itself. I’ve never had any other tea that is this gorgeous and this silky. I admit that I’m still getting over the smell, but as I rinsed it three times, it transitioned into something closer to a mushroomy odor. I steeped it for 20 seconds and the rest Gongfu, the second 25, the third 30. The color is a very deep brown, with shades of orange, purple, and red glossing the liquid. The taste is exactly as described on here, there are notes of cocoa, some molasses, leather, mushroom, and bitterness. The bitterness overpowers the natural sweet notes in it, but as I re-steeped it, it got sweeter. Next time, I’m going to steep it more to see if it gets any sweeter.
I am so glad that I got this, though I admit the cake is bigger than I thought. Originally, I thought that I was going to have to budget more with my teas running out of gift income, but I found more that I totally forgot about. I still need to budget better, and have certainly bought too much tea, but this is a choice that I’m really glad I made. As a preemptive hangover strike for my twenty first, I think that I’ll be happily recovering with this embodiment of velvet.
As for my usual tidbit about general audience, this is for an experienced drinker, and one that should be used to introduce someone to Pu-Erh and Gongfu style of steeping. A newbie would have a hard time getting over the smell despite the taste being far different, which is also why Garret HIGHLY recommends rinsing for 5-10 seconds 2-3 times. It might be easier for a palette that’s not used to it with sugar, specifically rock sugar or maybe honey. I personally might start adding rock or raw sugar on occasion to really bring out the sweeter notes like cocoa, but I still can totally drink it on it’s own. Also, this is a tea that you should devote an entire day to because of the sheer amount of resteeps that you can get. It will serve your tea needs all day, which is another reason why I purchased this as a specific budget savor when I thought I had less of a disposable income (still technically do, but you know, tea addict).
Flavors: Cocoa, Dark Bittersweet, Leather, Molasses, Mushrooms, Smooth