I’d best describe the flavor of Dokudami Umami Tea from Teavana as roasted earthiness with a hint of intriguing sweetness that tastes better than it smells (which is even more earthy). Brown rice similar to that found in Genmaicha along with soybeans and the subtle slow sweet flavor of natural licorice root (not to be confused with licorice candy) combine to create a brew reminiscent of a yummy dish from my favorite Asian Take-out. Comfort food with sweet sauce! Added sweetener brings out additional toffee or caramel notes. I think this tisane has the potential to add depth to other teas and I’m looking forward to trying several combinations. The health benefits are compelling as dokudami is purported to have many. So far it seemed to help my morning sinuses and the hearty roasted notes were nice to wake up to. This is not a tea for everybody, but can be really enjoyable and deeply satisfying.
Updating on 02/18/12 to add that this tea has been discontinued by Teavana. I found an “herb tea” at a nearby Asian grocery store. Dokudami Kenso Chogo-Cha brews to a similar savory beverage with a hint of sweetness. I like it with added sweetener.