Many thanks to Bill (Ancient Tea Horse Road) for this sample.
I tried this tea two ways: Gongfu, and a slightly modified "professional tea tasting" method. For gongfu, I used 6g of leaf in a 90ml pot and after a rinse, I brewed it for 20s, 30s, 30s, 15s, 30s, 40s, 60s, 120s. For the modified tasting method, I used 2g of loose leaf in a 150ml gaiwan.After a flash rinse, I brewed it for 5 minutes, uncovered.
Out of the package, the leaves have a cool minty aroma with a barely noticeable smoke smell. Once placed in the heated vessel, an aged "earthy" aroma comes out, along with a strong smoke aroma. For the first gongfu infusion, the earthiness came out, but disapeared after that. For the second method, the earthiness was noticeable, but not as strong. For both methods, one thing remained the same: smoke. There was a strong cigarette and campfire smoke flavor throughout. The is also some woody and leathery flavors. When the tea, leaves, or cup cooled down, the mintiness aroma would come out.
It wasn't bad, althought the smokiness really threw me off. The original aroma of mint suggested that the tea would taste minty, but it was smoke that came out. Maybe in a few more years.