A long time ago someone told me that if I wanted to try the “good stuff” I should get some quality Gunpowder. I had only just begun my non-grocery store tea journey and was at a loss as to what this “Gunpowder” tea really was but I managed to find some in a reasonably short amount of time by visiting a tea vendor at one of our local farmers markets. Both the visit and the tea were an interesting experience!
Dry this tea has a distinct smoky scent which mixes in well with the main aroma of hay cut on a warm afternoon. There’s also a hint of spice in there which gives it a well-rounded profile. Be warned however that this tea will expand greatly when steeped, the small balls that it is rolled into are very deceptive and make it easy to accidentally add to much tea to your cup.
And don’t steep it too long, it can get very bitter very quickly; I tend to only steep mine 3-4 minutes for the first steeping. Once steeped the aroma loses some of the smokiness that was prevalent in the dry tea and the dark “spice” notes become more noticeable. The liquor is a rich clear gold-yellow and has an interesting mouth-feel, warm and rich but light at the same time. The flavor reflects the aroma, light and hay-like with touches of smoke and a good bite at the end. It also holds up very well to multiple re-steepings, which for me makes it a great tea to have available for those days when I just have to have tea on hand all day. (This is good thing since when I start drinking this tea I find it very hard to put it down for long! :D)