I always wanted to try this one and I’m now able to because of Ost’s sale. Thank you! The age of this tea might not be the newest, so I will take that into consideration. I didn’t want to use all the leaves I had for this steep session, so I used one teaspoon while not pouring water to the top of mug. The leaves are dark and wiry and I didn’t notice too many actual vanilla beans if I was supposed to? The resulting brew is a light copper. I expected a darker brew almost? Probably because when I think of this tea, I’m always thinking of people mentioning chocolate. The flavor is DEFINITELY still cherry which is surprising if this is a natural flavor coming from the tea. I’ve never tasted that before — natural cherry notes coming from a plain black tea. Possibly it tastes mostly like a Ruby tea to me, but here there are many more flavor notes that are much more unique to this tea. It also reminds me of a Fujian tea for having those light starchy chocolate notes while also being sweet. The mouth feel is very smooth. So this hits the cherry notes that I expected but I’d love to have noticed more of the chocolate and vanilla notes. The third steep was a bit tapped out on flavor. I’m thrilled I finally was able to try this though.
Steep #1 // 1 teaspoon for partially filled mug // 14 minutes after boiling // 2 minute steep
Steep #2 // 7 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #3 // just boiled // 5 minute steep