Broke off a chunk of this and threw it in the gaiwan. What I noticed in the first steep (after a rinse) is how clean the flavor is initially. Granted the tea hasn’t properly broken up yet but it is a promising, smooth, clean start.
Second steep (10 sec) gives off more of that classic rain soaked earth scent with a cinnamon red color in the liquor. The flavor is still very clean with absolutely no hint of fermentation. The wife agrees with me. Very nice.
Third steep (15 seconds) and I might be slightly distracted from getting accurate smells and tasting notes as my wife is cooking gingerbread cookies and the smell wafting from the oven is intoxicating. Mmmm… Oh, right, tea. The color is darkening to a chestnut brown. The flavor is a classic ripe but very clean. I have a feeling this is going to be the norm for this tea. Classic and clean.
OMG I just got a sample of the finished gingerbread cookies nom nom nom. They actually pair very well with this tea. Not sure if it is the cozy joy of the season or the slight tea buzz coming on but happiness is abundant here in this moment and time.
Yes, I will end it here but for now, it is a very good, consistent, and fairly priced option. I appreciate the clean flavor it provides.
*Edit: Another hour or two later and this tea is still going strong. It is a bit lighter but I am on close to the 10th steep at about 90 seconds and it is still sweet, smooth, and very drinkable. Uptick in the rating.