This tea definitely needs to be given some time to mellow out, but I think it will be nice given a year or so of aging.
Dry cake: The dry leaves have a nice milk chocolaty color with a good number of golden buds mixed in. The cake compression seems ideal (to this newb anyway), its pretty tight, but still loose enough to break apart without too much damage to the leaves.
1st infusion: I gave it a wash and brewed the first infusion; yuck! Tastes like a cup of fermentation. It really wasn’t worth drinking, so I transferred it to a cup to pour over my teapot.
2nd-5th: These were much more drinkable. There is still a some fermentation taste, but it was much less and joined by flavors of chocolate, celery, and oak.
5th-8th: This is where this cake shines. It still has a bit of compost flavor, but the “tea flavors” really come through with notes of date, pecan, cocoa powder, and red wine.
9th-10th: These were weaker, but otherwise like 5-8, and this is where I cut it off.
This isn’t the greatest right now, but I think it will be a nice tea.