I must admit I was slightly put off upon opening the bag by how strong the smokey smell is from the dry leaves, even though I'm a big fan of smokey scotch and other smokey foods/drinks. Don't be deterred by this! Once brewed the smokiness is more subtle and enjoyable. The tea is very smooth and great with a splash of milk or cream. Not an everyday tea for me but it's a fun, unique treat for a cold day.
This is my absolute favorite of the Harney and Sons line. At first, I was skeptical, I thought I wasn't going to like this tea from the initial smell -- earthy and smoky with a little sweetness at the end. I could have sworn it was dug up. But one sip allayed all of my fears and transported me to a wooden Varangian mead hall, with smoke slowly rising from a warm hearth in the dead of winter. The taste of the tea is subtle at first, but ends with a distinctly smoky flavor that has a real old world feel. It really warms your heart on a cold day.
When I was a little girl growing up in Russia, my grandpa used to take me to our garden out in the country, he had to work a lot in it, I tried to help as much as a child could, thinking I was helping the family maintain our treasure - our family garden. We had everything that you can only imagine growing there. All kinds of veggies, fruit, apples and of course lot of flowers. During his breaks my grandpa would start the fire and put a cast iron teapot over it. The teapot was used pretty often this way, so it had this smoky smell to it. And of course, the tea that was made in it, smelled exactly like this "Russian country" tea. Like that teapot hanging over the burning firewood. What memories! Excellent flavor! Smoky taste. Smells like Russian country exactly. I think, it would make a perfect Christmas gift, too. Thank you for this tea!
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