I’m a loose tea newbie, and this is my very first experience with REAL black tea. I figured it would be best to start with black tea, since that’s the only thing I have to compare when transitioning from Lipton bags to loose tea. My first whiff of this tea confirmed that this was going to be veeerrryyy different from the tea I’ve been drinking for 27 years. The leaves smelled earthy, and I could actually tell that the tea came from A PLANT! (Whereas with Lipton, there’s really no other way to describe the smell other than “dusty tea bag.”) First, I tried it hot, and I wasn’t sure if I liked it. But, the more I sipped, the more I became intrigued by the complexity of flavors. I kept sipping just trying to taste all the flavor notes that are non-existent in cheap black tea bags. Today, I made a 1/2 gallon of lightly sweetened iced tea. I steeped 15g. in 4 cups hot water for 3 minutes. I poured it over 3-4 cups of ice and added 1/4 cup sugar. I’m addicted! I was unsure of how exactly to describe the flavors that are so new to me, but reading words like “malty,” “oaky,” and “earthy” in other reviews sound right.
I gave this an 85 because I know there’s something out there that I’ll like better.