The dry leaves smell wonderfully fruity, a strawberry sort of smell that I’ve only really noticed coming from GABA oolongs thus far. After a rinse, the fruit smell is still there, but also a very dark, somewhat unsavory one that smells like burnt something.

First sips reveal something very unique. There are a lot of things happening at once, but the first thing to notice is the quick onset of a minty feeling—a quick sort of rush of coolness. The flavor is sweet and mellow in this first steep, resounding of strawberry and fruit and not showing any particular black tea flavors yet.

The second steep brings out another new flavor. A little bit of a low maltiness is sneaking in, and along with it is a tartness that shows up all over my mouth making it hard to pinpoint. I’m finding this to be really interesting even though I’m only two steeps in.

Third steep darkens out more with more of the black tea flavor working its way in, though it’s not quite the same as the chocolately, burnt malt flavor I’m used to seeing. It does have a character similar to that, but it’s faster, and I think the tartness offsets it in a way that makes this tea feel very different from other black teas I’ve tried.

As the brew proceeds on, it starts to vary less, but definitely a favorite of the teas that I’ve tried thus far.

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