Tea Review- Shadow Self
The tea blend Shadow Self from Friday Afternoon Tea. Ingredients are aged black tea (pu-erh), raspberry leaf, smoked black tea, and rosemary.

Initial thoughts: smells like must, dirt, and rosemary. I tried to portion about half of the bag into my teapot, so 0.5 oz, which I hope will be enough? Trying to find info on the ideal tea-to-water ratio is uhhh Inconclusive.
Brewing: 200°F; 5 min for the first cup, 15 min for the second

My first cup. The tea is dark, but light enough that you can see the small bear figurine in my mug. There is visible steam rising from the tea.

You can definitely smell the rosemary, though thankfully it's not overwhelming- I think it's mostly that that's the only smell I can really identify.
The rest of the scent is all musk and smoke, like wood that's been burned to char and then left in the rain

Also, I remembered why I don't like brewing things hotter than 180, which is because I have to actually wait for it to cool down to drink it T-T

This tea tastes like;

(All of these in the best way possible) My second cup. The tea is even darker, enough that it's now difficult to see the bear.

Cup 2: Starting to get some of that back-of-the-mouth bitterness from over brewing, so note to self: 15 minutes is too damn long for black tea lmao
Getting a lot more rosemary in this cup; the smoke is somehow even more intense.

If the previous cup was dousing a campfire, this cup is a campfire burning itself out.

I dumped a bunch of sugar into this cup to try to balance out the bitterness, and it actually adds quite a lot! Now it's like eating the char off of a steak that was marinated in brown sugar :)

Final Review: 9/10. Every ingredient adds so much to the mix- they all work together to create a unified taste, but also have their own unique notes that get their turn in the spotlight.

Not quite an everyday drink for me- smoke is a pretty intense flavor- but this was an absolute delight to try, and with the amount of caffeine in it I feel ready as hell to start my day lol