I bought this tea in Joy’s Teaspoon Ocho Sampler months ago. I love the idea that you get to create your own sampler. It’s so personal.
I had about half of the sample left, since when I first tried it, I really didn’t care for it. But I was craving something dark tonight, and didn’t want to sit through a gong fu brewing, so I figured I’d try this again.
The leaves are very small and broken. They’re a deep, rich black, and the dry smell is something of cedar and pine, with fleeting hints of plum. When brewed, it really is a beautiful purple color. It’s a very pale lavender, not like anything I’ve seen in any other tea.
When steeped, it loses the wood notes in it, and if I hadn’t prepared it, I would swear this was an oolong. There are light notes of cedar, but those take a backseat to the vegetal scents and the sweetness, almost butteryness of the smell. Naomi is right – it smells very clean. There’s a little bit of bitterness in the aftertaste, but it’s not unpleasant.
All in all, I like this tea a lot more than I did when I first tried it. I’m not sure I could afford to purchase it, as it comes in at about $20/oz… but it sure is a good cup tonight!