This arrived a couple of days ago and I’ll confess I’ve been hesitating trying it .. But something told me to be brave today, soI tore open the fresh bag and gingerly gave the dry leaves a sniff – wishing I didn’t have descriptions like ‘shrimp’ in my head, lol .. And you know what? It smells like TEA :P
Sure there’s a rich earthy base note of hmm, mold? That really isn’t the best word, but it’s the only one coming to mind .. Oh wait, maybe fungus fits better as it brings up images of mushroom sheds, and peat .. I don’t know, but the point is it’s not overwhelmingly strong, nor bad :)
So, I actually bought this to try and mix my own version of 52Tea’s Chocolate Mayan Puerh that I often write about and long for .. And due to my experiences with that I just brewed this like I would any other black, albeit for less time – 2min for the first steep, and with no prior rinsing etc ..
As I expected it brewed to a brilliant cedar wood red colour, but surprised me with quite a bit of smokey aroma, & flavour too .. I’m not a fan of strong Russian Caravan types, but this is mild and palatable even for me ..
Remembering this was all about my mayan chocolate experience I began by adding some dark chocolate nibs, a sprinkling of Cayenne, then a good dash of Cinnamon (not in original just went with my gut on this one) .. Oh and also added milk & sugar, just a little of each, as this is how I like my afternoon cuppas .. It was sweet, almost creamy though not quite malty, and with a generous peppery bite which I quite enjoy – a very good substitute indeed!
Brew #2 (same leaves) I steeped for longer, and am drinking plain, sipping as I type this .. And even without all the playful additions I’m finding it full bodied, yet low astringency .. This Tea actually has the perfect ‘mouth feel’ imho ..
It’s definitely not going to be for everyone, and it’s not even something I’d want to drink every day, but it’s very different from anything else in my cupboard, and makes a pleasant change .. So yup, I’m pleased as punch that I bought it, and yes I would definitely recommend as something new/interesting to try :D