I put an order in to Upton's Teas because they had so many new ones to try. This particular one is from Vietnam, a black tea, Shan Tuyet, which means Mountain Tea, and comes from ancient trees in the Northern Highlands, rather than in the Mekong Delta region. Most Vietnamese tea is grown and processed by small farmers, who often use old laundry driers to cure their tea.
The dry tea has an odd aroma that I can't put my finger on. It is smokey, woodsy, earthy, mushroomy, but it isn't, if you can understand that. It is black with some golden tan tips included. The suggested brewing is 5 minutes with boiling water, so I do. The brewed tea throws in maybe roasted or grilled green beans or grilled summer squash. See why I can't put my finger on it?
The brewed tea is a yellowed amber and tastes a bit like a Lapsang Souchong. But it also tastes of tree bark and the vegetables, with a hint of chocolate in the back. It has a good clean feel, with a short lingering time, which is where the chocolate hint comes in. However, this is not a tea for sweets. This is a hearty breakfast or roast beef accompaniment. I, who always put milk in my black tea, didn't. I don't think it would go. I will probably try some when my cup is almost gone. At first I didn't like the tea, but by the bottom of the cup, I was a convert. This quite good and intriguing.