Rinse: 3-5sec
First steep: 1min 45sec
Second steep: 2min
Third steep: 2min 30sec

A quick five second rinse releases the aroma of smoke, stone fruit, and honey into the air. The liquid is a lovely gold, medium bodied and slightly viscous. Wow, is this really a smoked tea? It tastes of sweet honey, stone fruit, and light mineral. It’s dries the tongue just a bit. Faint notes of muscatel are present. The only evidence of a smoke flavor is the taste that lingers behind after swallowing. It’s perhaps more pine wood than smoke, but it’s there. It becomes more obvious as I sip through my cup. In the second cup I notice subtle notes of cocoa with a light caramel/cream finish and a touch of roastiness. The body, again, is light-medium and less viscous than the first cup. The third cup has a stronger caramel flavor, but overall it’s much lighter and starting to weaken. I don’t think it’s a tea I’ll be buying, but it was certainly a lovely one to try. Thanks nannuoshan!

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Honey, Mineral, Muscatel, Pine, Smoke, Stonefruit, Wood

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I am still relatively new to loose leaf, as I have only been drinking it since 2013. I’m amazed at how much my tastes have changed just over the past year. I have met such lovely, kind individuals on Steepster and am so glad to have become a part of this community.

Pure black teas are my favorite. I drink black tea daily and I try to keep a variety on hand. I also enjoy white tea, puerh, and the occasional oolong. Matcha is something that I love though I haven’t tried a large variety. The very good matcha that I’ve had is quite expensive. In general I try to stay away from flavored teas—especially those with artificial flavorings—but I will make rare exceptions, and I do enjoy a well crafted blend of straight teas. Things I (usually) don’t like: green oolongs, rooibos, straight green teas.

Rating System
90+ The very best! Teas that I always need in my cupboard!
85-89 Teas that I enjoy immensely and will try to keep around.
80-84 Makes a very pleasing cup. I will enjoy drinking them, but won’t necessarily try to keep around. (There are exceptions.)
70-79 Decent, but could be better.
60-69 Mediocre.
40-59 Gross. I might still try to finish the cup.
39 & under Undrinkable. I probably dumped this cup. Depending on the specific rating, I probably threw the rest of the tea out as well.

Some of my favorite tea companies are:
-Whispering Pines Tea Co.
-Verdant Tea
-Mandala Tea

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