I received this tea from Teavana. Usually I don’t do straight up green beyond the kind you get at Japanese restaurants, but this one sounds intriguing! On opening the sealed bag, the smell is layered, it smells rich, although for some reason, and this may be my inexperience in green teas showing, the predominant smell is fairly resemblant to that of dried alfalfa. Not hay, but the alfalfa flakes I recall from childhood. It also has a distinct earthy scent I associate with the green teas I find in the various little family-run sushi establishments that are my main foodie vice. For whatever that is worth. And the last one I can put to words is an undertone that reminds me of matcha.
The first steeping was lighter in color than I was expecting, and for all the rich smells, far lighter in flavor than I was expecting or hoping for. There is a richness that pervades despite that, and the warm green tea… I would use the term “musky-ness”, were there not the possible connotation of mildew in it. There is no mildewy taste, but to a green tea, I often find a distinct rich flavor, the “toasted brown rice” aspect if you will. This tea has it, and although it was fainter that I would have liked, I found it very appealing. Over all, I may have not used enough tea (the leaves are very twiggy in nature, and so take up much space, but weigh very little), or perhaps it needs another steep, but the first steeping, while enjoyable, does not stand out any more than a pretty decent regular green tea.
Th second steeping has a more prevalent richness, there is a flavor I cannot describe well, but it dances just of of reach of being called distinct. I would almost say there is an astringency to it, not an over-steeped bitter tang, but a light note that adds to the range of taste this tea hits. The light note matches well with the fuller body of the tea, and that “toasted rice” flavor is more noticeable to me this steeping. The color is oddly enough about the same.
All told, there is a richness and depth this tea brings out which I quite like, and while I am certainly not converted to pure greens for life by any means, I can see myself getting this tea out on its own to drink, and absolutely enjoying it! (I think it’s growing on me!) I also think it would make an excellent base, were I try pairing it with an herbal, or some nutty concoction… Hmmm, it does have the flavor profile for quite a number of possibilities! I am rating it on how well it did the basics, which I think is quite well. I may add more to my review after trying it sweetened.