I quite liked this tea. The dry tea greeted me with the smell of caramel, coconut and the tang of fruit. It appears when dry that there is more black than green leaves but once steeped the bancha leaves opened up quite a bit. I steeped it at the temperature at which I would steep bancha.
When steeped the first scent that hits my nostrils is that of the toasted rice followed by a sweet scent tempered by vanilla and the buttery scent of caramel. The sweet taste is pleasant when steeped about a minute. The first notes I taste are the bancha and black tea with the black tea producing a slightly citrousy note and tempering the sweetness of the bancha, followed by a sweet fruity note, and a sweet buttery and slightly salty and nutty note from the caramel and rice. The caramel and vanilla and salt remain on the tongue. The green tea leaves me with that clean pleasantly aware feeling I get when I drink it. For me the tea is sweet enough as it is . The empty tea cup smells of vanilla and caramel. I would not add sugar to it.
I probably wouldn’t drink this everyday as it is approaching too sweet for me but it is all over a nicely balanced tea which is fun to drink and I wouldn’t mind keeping a bit of it in my cupboard.
Thanks to Sophie and Laurent for the sample!
note: The 2nd steep was not as sweet, the vanilla and fruit were more present. It was not as buttery but the nutty flavour of rice was more present. It was slighty astringent and more flavour contributed by black tea.