As someone without much experience with the gunpowder variety of green, I decided to play some Russian roulette and brew up a batch. After spinning the cylinder and smelling the brew, one word comes to mind: smoky! The scent reminds me of a freshly extinguished campfire. This is not a warm and cozy aroma! On the outset, this bold scent has me concerned. I don’t want my tea tasting like an ashtray.
Upon sipping, I’m pleasantly surprised. This green has a fairly-strong, earthy taste. Subtlety-hidden is a honey-like hint. But that is quickly forgotten when a more smoky flavor comes barreling in. After a few cups, the blood is definitely rushing to the head. Be prepared, this is a tea that unquestionably has a strong caffeine content.
Harney and Sons describe this as a “a good everyday green tea”. I disagree. As an everyday green tea, I want something sweeter, softer, and less offending. Only some sort of adrenaline junkie would want this daily. Occasionally, for a smoky-mature jolt, this tea may work. I stumble out of this game of Russian roulette shaken, but alive to see another day.