When Briarworks rolled out their July 2016 tobacco offerings, I found the idea of "Unsweet Tea" to be most unusual....and intriguing. Why would Briarworks offer an unsweetened alternative to their "Sweet Tea"? I figured there HAD to be something special about this one, and moved it to the top of my shopping list.
'Unsweet Tea' is most certainly a unique blend. I've yet to smoke anything like it. There's plenty of oriental tobacco flavor coming out of it, and amazingly.... a tea note. Along with that slight tea essence that comes and goes, your tongue is left with an effect like when you drink really strong brewed tea with no sweetener, and those tannins make your tongue feel dryish, even though it's quite wet. I can see where this may not appeal to some pipe smokers, but I personally found the experience to be something I looked forward to with every subsequent smoke.
I tried this one in various pipes, and found that the flavor really shined in a medium-sized Dublin with a conical chamber. It takes quite a few pipe-fulls for things to come together, but I truly believe your pipe smoking palate will be pleased and enhanced by this blend. Congratulations to Briarworks. This is a really unique, and well designed pipe tobacco.
I've smoked a fair few bowls of this over the past week, to try and get a measure. Without question, this is incomparable to anything else out there!
The blend contains a few coarser pieces but the majority of it's mid-size ribbons. My blend contains no black pieces, there's one or two dark browns, but no blacks. It's mainly medium and light browns. There's a good hydration to it.
The smoke: the flavour's mainly Oriental leaf, next comes the grassy-sweet Virginias, but I get no black Cavendish. To be fair I enjoy the sweet and sour character from the Virginia/Oriental side of it, it's the addition of tea that lets it down, for me. There are plenty of drinks I feel work well in tobaccos, rum, coffee, Irish cream, cognac, the list is endless, but I wouldn't put tea in the same group. The tea's identifiable from word 'Go', but doesn't taste 'comforting', the tea tastes sour, stale and stagnant; not 'refreshing' as a few websites describe it. I find it burns too warm and pretty quick, giving me a lot of tongue bite along the way. On the plus side it requires very few relights!
Nicotine: medium. Room-note: not the best.
Unsweet Tea? Okay, it's a very inimitable blend, but I wouldn't have it often. Two stars:
Somewhat recommended; the tobaccos don't taste too bad so I can't give it just one star!
Straight forward , non complex , very natural. The blend name is perfect. Moisture is about perfect in the jar, no need to dry it.
To me it’s almost flavorless. It does indeed have an unsweet tea characteristic. It’s almost like the tobacco was stored together with tea bags.
It’s pretty mild, I personally didn’t get any tongue bite from this and it smoked easily with basically one light.
If you like non aromatic oriental tobacco with just a small twist of an ever so slight unsweet tea like flavor ,give this a try. It doesn’t cost much and can easily be an all day smoke. It comes in a glass jar which is nice too
Update 10/11/20 - Came back to this tonight and I am definitely gonna put this to 4 stars. It’s really a nice tobacco blend - stays lit, smokes cool and tastes very good. It is not as mild as I originally thought and also the flavors of Turkish and orientals are coming out very well !
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