Scent in package: Sweet berry scent…almost sickly sweet, with that characteristic “artificial flavors” scent that seems to emanate from all AOT flavored teas.
Brewed: unbleached filter bag, and Tea for One (metal basket)
Steeped: 1st day – 5 min@212 deg., 5 min@212 deg. 2nd day – 3 min@212 deg., 5 min@212 deg.
Cup: Café mug here at work
If you like tart things, then go ahead and drink the first infusion of this tea. You’ll note that the water turns red, and to be honest, you really won’t taste the tea anyways, it’s all about the dried berries for the first infusion (no, not plums as the name would have us believe, but schizandra berries as listed on their site). It’s like drinking a tart, berry flavored water, and if I had sugar here at work, I would have used it on the first infusion. If I were at home, not being a fan of “berry-flavored water”, I probably would have tossed the first infusion. But that’s just me.
If you look at the tea dry, it’s almost equal amounts tea to dried berries – maybe if it were more tea than berries, the first infusion would be more “tea-full”. I may try removing some of the berries next time I drink it, and see what that does.
The second infusion is much better, in my opinion. If I decide to drink this at home, I’ll start with that one. It’s still tart, and the tea is still thin, but not nearly so much as the first infusion. This second cup is more like what an oolong should be…that bit of honey taste at the end, and the smoother texture to go with it. I bet it would taste great with some sugar (again, I go with the sugar…tart just really isn’t my thing).
I haven’t gotten to a third infusion yet, mostly because I drink it slowly (a bad thing for tea…means it’s just not “yummy” enough to drink up). This isn’t a bad tea by any means, and for anyone who wants to taste the flavoring more than the tea, and likes tart beverages, this would be perfect (like a warmer bottled tea – think Nestea). As for me, I’m going to pass on ordering more…there are many more teas I’d prefer to spend time and money on.