Well, this one is actually really interesting, and I’m sitting here puzzled, scratching my head.
When I opened up the Golden Moon packet, it instantly smelled of gunpowder. That earthy, smokey, Rome-burning smell that I absolutely adore. I believe that Temple of Heaven is a higher grade of gunpowder, and let me tell you, the dry leaf was absolutely beautiful. Tiny little blue-green pearls. Way tinier than Adagio’s, and smooth and silky to the touch. So pretty!
So I dumped a level teaspoon into my IngenuiTEA and watched as the fireworks happen. This one’s pretty bombastic in the pot. It start with little bubbles, and then, within a matter of seconds after the hot water hitting the leaves, they start unfurling and writhing and wriggling like they’re dirty dancing.
In the cup, this one’s a honey hue, with a smell that can only be described as smokey gunpowder. So I lift my mouth to the cup and.. hrm. The smoke on this one is definitely lighter than Adagio’s blend. It actually is more seamlessly “one” with the tea flavors than a simple overlay of flavor. And while I enjoy that aspect of it, I wanted the smoke to come out a bit more assertive.
Then the oddity began. I’m picking up that mineral-like flavor and mouthfeel that I got from Rishi’s Jade Fire! The astringency is leaving my mouth dry, and there’s almost a briny component that I didn’t expect. As the cup cooled down, this element faded into the background (although there was still a high component of astringency), and the delicate smoke flavors became the prime focus. There’s a sweet green aftertaste that is really pleasant, but it’s almost a bit too mild.
In fact, I think overall the cup is too delicate for my tastes, and it falls into this bizarre crack. Gunpowder really isn’t a delicate flavor, so it’s strange to have it come across as a wisp of smoke instead of a cloud. Add to that the mineral/brine/weird taste that came with Rishi’s Jade Fire (which is another rolled tea, by the way, but it doesn’t have the smoke of a gunpowder) and you have me perplexed. It’s like if Adagio’s Gunpowder and Rishi’s Jade Fire decided to have a baby and the genetics got mixed up along the way.