The first thing I noticed about this tea is how intensely smokey it is compared to my usual Hojichas (Harney & Sons, MEM Tea Imports). The size of the leaves impressed me too; again, I am used to teas that run on the kukicha side, or using fairly small broken leaves.
It brewed a nice cup – heavy on the wood/cedar scents, though I can definitely see where one gets tobacco from the wet leaf. A little thickness on the tongue, but not much in the way of mouthfeel. We did a second steep (~2 minutes) that felt almost espresso-esque. Roommate commented that she might want to try this longer steeping in her next bowl of chazuke – too bad we drank the whole sample!
Flavors: Cedar, Espresso, Smoke, Tobacco, Wet Rocks