This tea frightened me, for I was pretty sure I was going to hate it. However, I decided to finally walk through my fear and gongfu the darn thing.I grabbed my shibo and prepared for the worst. I opened the package to reveal ctc grade black leaves and some crimson pieces scattered throughout. The leaf gave off a strong rum and malt tone with some dark cocoa nibs along with a rich, warm, and spicy background. I warmed my shibo and dumped what I had inside. I lifted the lid, and I instantly thought of hot hard apple cider, or perhaps hot apple cider spiked with rum. It was a very intense tone. I did not wash the leaves. The brew was a deep dark red, but I gave it a sip, and I was quite surprised. The tea was actually quite good. The initial taste was dry cocoa, hard wood, and apple cider, except less on the apple part. The wood and spices were very intense. The aftertaste is what hooked me; it was an oily and heavy taste of sweet raspberry, blackberry, and dark cocoa. I could only not a slight run taste, and it stayed towards the back. The next steep intensified the wood notes along with some spice, also the brew became significantly drier. Towards the end, the brew was a bit too aggressive, but it still carried the sweet berry aftertaste. This was an interesting tea!
Flavors: Blackberry, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Malt, Raspberry, Rum, Spicy, Wood