Small, tightly compressed cake, still reasonable to break from the edge. The taste was immediately lovable. Actually I fall in love with any decent black tea, it doesn’t take much, so I’ve been making an effort to judge teas and try to minmax pleasure.
Leaves smell deliciously like paper or oregano when they encounter water. The smell left behind in the cup is of raspberry.
In its first year, I think it has a perfect, if high pitched, balance. Tartness, woodiness, density, berry-sweetness, and herby savoriness, which consistently keep the same levels across steeps. A black tea’s berry taste could get repetitious, but this always has a background of flavor to reference the tartness to.
It only dries the mouth a little, but rather numbs or fuzzes. I’m also pleased to see how long the taste stays in the mouth and throat, thickly vaporous, while leaving some slow-bursting spicy embers. Perhaps it’s named after the mildly liquory aftertaste? It’s a very discreet but present tea, why I like black teas.
Tea energy and the demand on the stomach were both pretty minimal, at least drinking this evening. It seems like a safe tea to have on bad days.
Longevity was good, and I got eight steeps while staying within the 15 second mark. However, now that I’ve leafed it at the super heavy 10 grams, I’ll have to see again how little leaf I can use in a session without compromising on something.
Despite the aftertaste, I don’t yet notice the honey or spice projected to come in a few years. The bitterness has some room to mute down, as long as it gains something piquant in return.
Day later report: I’ve put this through at least 10 rounds in the gaiwan, I’ve thrown it around in a thermos and took it to office, and I’ve boiled it on a stove, but this tea lasts forever.