The dry leaves smell like Lemon Pledge but surprisingly I mean that in a good way. It smells less like cleaning product and more like my house has been cleaned with something fresh. Which is always nice. I’m actually a little disappointed that the liquid tea doesn’t smell as lemony fresh. But then I get a few more sniffs in and you know, I’m really not upset. Because it does smell lemony fresh. But earthy. Dark but clean and fresh.
The taste is really quite interesting. The lemon is lessened to where it is a fairly balanced match for the tea, making the two tastes combine so tightly it is hard to separate them. So I have a Yunnan – dark, silky, cocoa-ish – that ends up being crisp, clean and almost light tasting. It reminds me a bit of the Fuijian Baroque I had (was that yesterday?) except there is a bit more backbone to this tea and the flavors are more nuanced and intriguing. There’s even a little spice flavor at the end and I’m pretty sure it is from the Yunnan because the more I sip, the more it shows up as a strong peppery taste. Not overwhelmingly pepper, just an honest to goodness pepper burn. There’s also a nice sweet but almost tart (pleasantly tart, that is) lemon whoosh to my mouth post sip. The lemon whoosh and the pepper spice seem to trade off as the main end taste but they aren’t fighting about it. These are very gentlemanly, civil taste and they have no problem taking turns. Good flavors. Play nice.
I’ll be honest – this tea is kind of blowing my mind. And this is where rating difficulty comes in. (Why does Samovar always do this to me???) I have no idea what to give this because honestly, it’s an awesome tea. There is so much detail in the taste and it is balanced so perfectly. Really good. But I’ve never been one to put lemon in my tea so it’s a pretty new taste for me to get used to and I don’t know ultimately how much I will end up craving this tea. Anyway, I’m going to rate it for right now with the caveat that I might end up bumping this up in a few days. I’m pretty sure it won’t be going down.