The first time I had this tea it reminded me of both summer and fall. It had that tarry pine pitch smell that soaks out of rail ties on very hot days, that oddly provides a bright camphor type tone to the tea, as well as enough charred grain and smoke insence to make me think of fall curled up by a fire reading a book. This is not an overly smokey tea but smoke does influence and add spice to the flavour.
The dry leaf smells of sugar, charred grains, cocoa, and fruit, and a hint of bright camphor.
This is a very resilient tea for a keemun, brewed for steeps starting at 4 minutes I am now heading into the sixth steep.
My preferred brewing parameter for this tea is one TSP/225 [email protected]
Brewed this way I get a minimally astringent broth that smells of charred grains, smoke insence, cocoa, caramel, warm red fruit, and plum, light pine tar/camphor tone, with a hint of menthol.
Roasted grains, smoke insence, and caramel are the first flavour tones. These mix with sharp fruit and cocoa. It finishes with a bright pine tar/menthol note mixed with red fruits and plum. A smoke tone creates a note that is a little roasted pecan like. It has a very sweet aftertaste.
Later steeps had notes of charred grain with smoke insence spice, cocoa, caramel, and plum. Tart fruit notes faded but are apparent as it cools. There was camphor/pine tar in aftertaste. These steeps had a spicy yet cool toned flavour. There were also hints of vanilla orchid, dark chocolate, and a spicy floral tone as it cools as well as a grainy note reminds me a little of horse feed.
My last steep had plum, caramel, cream, over mineral roasted cacao note.
Using more leaf intensified both the sweetness and smokey/Tarry nature of this tea, whereas using higher temperatures increased the astringency and created a woody, drying note in the tea.
This is a robust and very nice counterpoint to the other tea I got from the seller. I very much enjoy them both!