I bought a cake of this tea from the US site and have been drinking it now and then since March 2021. This is one of my go-to teas when I don’t know what to drink, or if I just “want to drink tea” but have nothing specific in mind. That means I reach for it a lot! I usually brew this at boiling at a starting time of 10s, then add 5s each steep until the color starts to fade, then brew to keep the dark red color. I wait for it to cool down and drink it at room temperature for enhanced sweetness and cooling effect.
Now, I wouldn’t say this tea has any strong flavors. It primarily tastes like nice smooth mineral water with an elegant astringency to it, and there are some stronger suggestions of of wood and earth if you brew for longer than I do. Where this tea shines is in the feeling. It gives me a calm, focused energy after 3 cups. There’s also this interesting “sweet” cooling aftertaste which gets stronger around the 5th cup. Not that it’s literally sweet. I have never tasted fruit or caramel notes. Rather, it is completely absent of bitterness. It’s also quite refreshing! This may sound silly, but drinking this tea reminds me of the nostalgia of drinking an iced cola on a hot summer day. Sometimes, I reach for it when I crave cola.
I have not tasted any wet pile, mustiness, or mushroom from this tea. I do sometimes catch the aroma of shiitake water in the smell of the leaf.
I love the simplicity of this tea. It’s really easy to drink and to brew. This is not a perfect tea only because I prefer complexity of flavor and more prominent sweetness.
Flavors: Astringent, Earth, Forest Floor, Leather, Mineral, Mushrooms, Wet Wood