A faint smoky smell greets me on opening the packet; the dark olive green pearls also have a slightly acrid scent. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a gunpowder, so I’m not too sure what to expect. I’ll do two and a half minutes at 180, as I’m thinking this will be strong enough for my taste.
Whew! Sure is. There’s smoke there, but it’s also really astringent already. The liquor is a somewhat cloudy green-tinged brown. The scent of the liquid is lightly smokey, with green tea pushed to the background. Bitterness too – something I’m not usually turned off about, if it’s in moderation. However this bitterness feels somehow much more penetrating than usual, and lingers at the back of the throat. Maybe I just steeped it too long, though it was right in the middle of their 2-3 minute guideline. Ooof! Don’t think I’ll be able to finish this cup, though I think I’d try it again steeped for maybe half the time to see if it made a difference.