Heavy roast leaf. Medium sized, metallic black with hints of brown at the tips of the leaf. A lot of broken leaf too. Unfortunate. Dry leaf gives off a strong, heavy roast aroma with a hint of heavy metal. Brewed aroma is, unsurprisingly, typical for heavily roasted tea. Earthy, with some baker’s spice.

First brew is a somewhat cloudy brass red. First sip shows a heavy roast character. I think they used modern methods to roast this tea. It doesn’t have the strength of character I typically associate with traditional roasting method. There’s some baker’s spice, mostly cinnamon. It’s got a bit of sweetness to it, but not much. On the finish, the sweetness ramps up a bit. No appreciable minerality. Interestingly enough, there is a bit of a creamy flavor in the finish. Texturally, this tea is too thin. Throat feel is also lacking.

Ditto for second brew.

Third brew sees a huge uptick in minerality. Gaiwan aroma is thick with minerality. Color is also much darker. I think I’ve brewed through some of the roast. First sip is pure minerality. That quickly transitions into cinnamon sweetness. A hint of the roast still remains, but it’s purely as a secondary note now. Creamy taste is missing on the finish. I’m happy to report that the texture of this tea has improved. It’s thicker. By no means is it meaty or lubricating, but it’s still an improvement. Unfortunately, throat feel is still lacking.

So far, I’m not getting any cha qi effects. Nor am I feeling caffeinated.

Fourth brew is a disappointment. Minerality is significantly diminished. In fact, most of the previous flavor is either diminished, or missing. The only note comes from the roast. And even that seems flattened! The only bright spot is the texture. It’s managed to keep its increased viscosity.

Fifth brew seems to be a bit more even than the fourth. Most of the flavors are still flattened, but the cinnamon sees an uptick in sweetness. Other than that, there is very little change from the fourth brew.

For the sixth brew, I decided to increase the brew time by one minute. This is a pretty heavy steep for me. I’m curious to see how it changes the nature of the tea. Sadly, I don’t think it helped. Liquor comes out even lighter than the first steeping. Aroma is almost nill. Taste is dead. I’m calling it, this tea is steeped out.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Mineral, Roasted

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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