First sniff of the cakes: Allspice, vanilla, typical wet leaves smell, and that dreaded rotten fish smell. The fishiness is a deal breaker for me; this tea was either fermented poorly or stored poorly.
Two rinses at 10 sec each, boiling water.
This cake is very tightly pressed, and the leaves are all tiny broken pieces. Needs a fine strainer.
First brew, 10 sec: Heavy allspice and vanilla, autumn leaf pile, and fishiness. Quite sweet.
Second brew, 15 sec: Allspice, vanilla, fishiness.
Third brew, 20 sec: More rotten fish smell, starting to get more of a woody cedar flavour at the end. The cake is still not broken down yet; I helped this along with a few stabs from a butter knife.
Fourth brew, 20 sec: Much less sweet now, more drying. After the smell of rotten fish, the cedar flavour is starting to dominate. Also starting to resemble a Boricha, aka roasted barley tea.
Flavors: Allspice, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cedar, Decayed Wood, Earth, Fishy, Roasted Barley, Vanilla