Patience is the key word here. First, patience as the ball opens up. It takes it a while, but luckily the early infusions will have some flavor if you let the ball sit and do its thing.
Second, patience while drinking. This is a subdued tea. The flavors are very light – the overall flavor, in my humble opinion, is basically a black tea blend. It has some fruit and floral notes to keep it interesting (even some spiciness that reminded me of black peppercorn), but really, I tasted a high-quality English breakfast tea.
Not that that’s a bad thing, but if you are coming here because you like a whallop of flavor like you would find in an oolong or pu’erh, you won’t find it here. On the other hand, there isn’t any bitterness to subdue – and I was brewing it HARD to find some flavors.
So, I find this tea to be a novelty, and maybe a good gateway for those looking to bridge the gap between English breakfast and more authentic Chinese teas. However, for those already drinking more serious teas, just be aware that this one is very mild and easy-going.
Dry leaf – honey, dried apricot, slight perfume floral. In preheated vessel – honey-lemon black tea notes.
Smell – honey, light apricot fruitiness, light black tea blend, hint of cinnamon butter, sweet floral, grape leaf, and black pepper
Taste – light black tea blend with notes of honey and apricot. Hints of black pepper and lemon. Aftertaste is lightly fruity with some citrus cutting through it.