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Recent Tasting Notes
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It’s spring on the calendar, but not outside in Chicago. A chilly, rainy Memorial Day here — so I reached for the canister I’d purchased recently from Dream About Tea (http://www.dreamabouttea.com/) full of fragrant, toasty spring-flush Dragonwell. If I can’t feel spring, I might as well taste it.
I keep seeing Gunpowder being described as being smoky. I don’t get it. I can’t for the life of me find any smoke in it at all. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Nichts.
In the aroma of the dry leaves I kind pick something up that I think must be what some are interpreting as smoke, but to me it isn’t smoke. To me it’s more plant-y hay-y. No sign of smoke in the steeped tea aroma either.
I have brewed this really really carefully, and still all I can find is slightly butter-y vegetableness with a fair amount of astringency. Mind you, my gunpowder is old and of a fairly low quality, but I cannot find smoke anywhere in the flavour. I wouldn’t be able to find smokyness in this if my life depended on it.
I just don’t get it. How do you get it to be smoky???
ACK! Argh! Ack! Erk! Argh!
Gunpowder + spearmint gum = spitty!
I made use of the random tea picker today and it suggested this generic gunpowder. Okay, that’s a fair suggestion, I thought, given my foray into japanese greens. Let’s see if I can spot a significant difference.
First of all the colour is way more yellow and non-radioactive. A deep, warm colour and not in the least bit toxic looking.
Smell has a prickly note. I’ve seen people who find this type of green a bit on the smoky side and I’ve never been able the get that. Maybe it’s that prickly note they experience as smoky. I find it more sort of… I want to say citrus-y but that’s not quite it. It’s not fruity as such. Maybe there’s a vague hint of smoke, but it’s not smoky.
Tastewise, it’s definitely different even if my tongue is still semi-paralysed by the unfortunate gum incident. It’s not at all the green vegetables in this one. This is more abstract in flavour. It doesn’t really taste that much of anything other than green tea. It’s sweeter than the japanese and it’s not as much an explosion of flavour. It’s rounded and just calmly fills the mouth.
This probably makes no sense to anybody other than me…
Maybe if it hadn’t been for the chewing gum, I could have been more specific. This, however, was not to be.
I’m in a green mood, so I grabbed this tin and made me a pot. Now that I’ve taken the first couple of sips, I suddenly remember that I also own a rather nice Chun Mee, and I’d actually rather have had a pot of that.
It’s probably just as well, because I have discovered that I didn’t rinse the pot out properly before brewing. My gunpowder has gained a weak note of liquorice root from yesterday’s Black Satin.
Interesting, actually. It adds an element of surprise to it. ‘Ahhh green tea… wait, what’s that?’ If I had any liquorice root, it might be fun to experiment with.
Hey Steepster Peeps and those who decided to follow Lexitus in particular? Did you know that apparently we are the Steepster Mafia? ;p It made me LOL. Does that make me Godfa- er… Godmother?
4th steep actually, with a crutch (as in a pinch of fresh leaves). I didn’t actually need any tea tonight after the pot of sodding Earl Grey earlier, but then Denisend made a forum thread about honey in tea and… I got inspired.
And for some weird reason this Gunpowder was my first thought. Sweetening a green tea, and a naturally sweet one at that. I’m nuts, obviously. This will either be spectacularly spectacular or spectacularly dreadful.
Yup. It’s actually spectacularly indifferent.
Gunpowder tends to have a sweet note naturally and the honey just added a little bit to it. Granted I didn’t add very much, but it still didn’t really swing it either way.