DRAGONHELL. (Time to play some obligatory Dragonforce to get you in the mood for the epicness of the following review, and just cause it sounds cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc9_U-RBSuk)
I have heard terrifying things about Dragonwell. Salty water. Bitter. Astringent. BLECH.
I was joking around the other day about this particular tea, and apparently the universe was listening to me, because it dumped it in my lap! One of my sister’s friends gave this to her for Christmas, and my sister shoved it onto me. A 4.3 oz tin of Dragonwell of unknown origins. Probably from Chinatown, since the entire package is almost all in Chinese. No steeping parameters, no… nothing. Just pure terror.
So I bit the bullet and tried this, expecting a really bad tea experience. Before I dive into all the awesome tea in my house, I might as well have something mediocre, right? This tin was actually a lot less ghetto than I thought it would be. It’s double-lidded! Yay!
I asked some informed people, and did 2 tsps per cup (I made some for my boyfriend as well). I used the awesome digital thermometer that takgoti sent me (!!!) and waited for the water to drop down to 160. The dry leaf on this smells, as the boyfriend said, “Like all green tea – like a fish tank.” This amused me, but only made me more worried for what I was about to try. He only made it worse when he said, “It’s drink or die time!”
The resulting brew is a pale infusion, a gentle yellow. I took the first sip… and you know what? It really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Not salty at all. More like the second steep of a gunpowder. I guess this is Chinese green tea! It’s not really sweet at all… a bit briny, but nothing awful and tongue-curling. I found it pretty easy to sip on as I set up the Roku I bought for my parents.
Really not terrifying as it could have been! I’m pleasantly surprised, actually. I mean, this is definitely not something that I’d want to drink all the time. At all. It’s very…. blah, in a lot of ways. But it’s way better than bagged green tea, and it was drinkable. I finished my cup.