The uncooked leaves are medium brown and have a deep and pleasant roasted aroma with a hint of sweetness; it’s actually reminding me of tobacco.

1st steeping: boiling, 30 seconds. The roastiness continues, unsurprisingly without the vegetal flavors I got from their genmaicha. There’s a natural sweetness to the flavor too, whch is pleasant. After several sips it’s tasting more like a roasted chicory drink – something I’ve never been too fond of, but in this mild form I may come to enjoy it. Very slight bitter aftertaste.

2nd steep: boiling, 15 seconds. As above, but with the volume turned down by about half.

Not a huge amount of complexity with this tasting; I’ll put on my deerstalker and see if I can detect anything new next time around.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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Grandma introduced me to tea as a kid (lipton with milk and sugar; a bit poured into the saucer to cool it down and then sipped from there), and I’ve never looked back. Still have a slight preference for teas that go well with milk (or even better, cream) and sugar, but since Grandma’s day I’ve branched out to appreciate green and white teas, rooibos and pu erh. Absolutely love Mariage Freres!


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