The Leaf: The pile is nice and dark black, semi-curled, with a sprinkling of golden buds and stems throughout. The scent is, of course, smokey, but not overpowering and also has a kind-of pine resin quality to it.

The Brew: The liquor is a golden brown, almost with a reddish tinge. The aroma is light, and almost identical to the smell of the leaves; smokey and piney. The flavor is surprisingly light. There is a definite smokey quality to it, but also some of the maltiness of a black tea comes through. The mouthfeel is quite dry and leaves your tongue tacky for awhile afterwards. There is a slight aftertaste as well of the smokiness.

I drink all of my teas cold.

Flavors: Malt, Pine

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 7 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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I’ve been a tea drinker since I was a teenager, and have only gotten more addicted to tea as time goes on. I’m currently at a couple of liters a day.

I love all styles of tea, but as I currently live in Japan I’m checking out many of the teas available here; bancha, kukicha, and houjicha to name a few. I’m also a big fan of Assam tea, and almost all herbal teas including rooibos and mate.

My favorite way to brew tea is using a brew device from Taiwan that is marketed in the US under names like IngenuiTEA, and Perfect Teamaker. The device allows ample room for your leaves and makes cleanup quick and easy. I like the brewer so much I’m actually trying to market it in Japan.


Osaka, Japan



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