Trying this little guy again…
First steep is floral and charcoal on the nose. Just a tiny bit of bitter chocolate. I am so relieved to smell something other than charcoal! Maybe this tea isn’t a dud for me like I thought! Flavors are subtle (first pour, short steep, no rinse), but I get some vanilla and nuts. The smoke is there but not nearly as sharp as it seemed to me before. Right at the end of this cup I swear I taste white paper… but not in a bad way?
Smell off the wet leaves is sharp smoke and grass.
Second steep is much like the first; light floral and more around the edges than in the center of the profile. Smoke is there. I might let the third steep sit just a little longer. I am quite happy with the light florality and smoke, though. It’s not a tea that wallops you over the head, but it’s nice and delicate, especially for a charcoal-roasted. Some green olives right at the end.
I let the third steep go a little longer, maybe 30-40 seconds. Smoke and olive oil on the nose. Cedar. Floral comes through more as it cools, along with some astringency that tells me this longer steep wasn’t necessarily the right move. Ope — just as I lifted my cup for the last sip, I got a distinct caramel note!
Raw lumber nose coming off the fourth… charcoal and perfume on the sip. I’ve decided this tea does actually feel like a junior version of What-Cha’s Taiwan ‘Charcoal Roasted’ Oolong. A bit toned down and maybe not as overwhelming to poke around in if you just want an easy little session.
Starting to get watery in the fifth; I might do just one more. Last couple steeps were rather sharp and empty smoke and perfume. I’m so glad I came back to this tea! A tasty lesson to learn.
Flavors: Caramel, Cedar, Charcoal, Dark Chocolate, Floral, Grass, Green Wood, Nuts, Olive Oil, Olives, Paper, Perfume, Smoke, Vanilla