Price: On sale price of $21.60/4oz.
Vendor: Aroma Tea Shop
Brewing Method: 1 tsp of loose leaves, 8 oz. of filtered water, boiled at 212F, in IngenuiTea teapot, for 2.5 minutes
Overall Score: 4 out of 5
When pouring this tea into my cup, I detected an anise-like smell with some faint mint in the background. I observed that the liquor is a light amber color. When tasting it, I was first hit with a slight licorice root flavor that this tea has been fermented with.
After taking a few more sips, my mouth and tongue began to feel cool from the mint. The licorice lingers for a short while but the mint stayed with me for quite some time. This brew had no bitterness at all. In fact, it was very smooth and sweet.
Before brewing: The leaves are like nothing I have seen. They are very tightly rolled into balls resembling tiny pebbles. I got a laugh as I poured the loose tea on the plate and some of the tiny balls had enough momentum to roll off the plate as if I had just poured out a bag of marbles. I know I can say that has never happened with any other loose leaf tea I have tried.
After brewing: These pebbles put on a show when the boiling water was added. They slowly opened up and revealed wrinkly but attractive whole and half leaves. While trying to open up, some of the pebbles would bob up and down in the water. It was definitely fun to watch.
I shared this tea with a friend and he informed me that he, too, liked the cool mint after taste. He said that even though there was no bitterness found in the tea, he added a small amount of sugar. He concluded that it intensified the mint flavor a little bit, but the anise was very faint.