There is something fishy with my Gunpowder....
I’ve bought Gunpowder tea from high quality and well-known tea shop. My brew looks weird, it has dark oolong color, muddy-greenish. When I first stepped my tea I thought this is Gunpowder black tea(I heard about such). I know Gunpowder tea very well and I am a big fan of it. But this one looks like nothing else. Smells is the same – a little metalic, overall nice and interesting. When it comes to taste it is very bland. I tried too add more leaves, steep a little longer, add hot water. Nothing changes. Color and taste stays the same. Bland taste (which is rather unusual for Gunpowder), almost black color. What’s wrong?
It sounds like the gunpowder tea wasn’t well stored. Chinese green teas are roasted to stop the oxidation and fix the green color. However, when dry tea gets in touch with humidity, the green tea starts to oxidize further. The tea color will then turn brown and the taste will become as you described metallic and bland.
Even tea that’s just a year old (or year+ old) can transition in some of the ways you described, even if stored properly. Green tea will darken, the fresh taste range will even out or fall off, and flavor will become more mineral intensive, dropping away from more floral aspects found in some versions. Air contact and especially exposure to humidity can have similar or related effect, or speed up a related effect, the outcome just wouldn’t be exactly the same. Losing a lot of flavor, going more tasteless, would probably be a sign of too much air exposure more than just age, or it could be from both.