3 Tasting Notes
This is a solid Gun Powder green tea, that happens to be mixed with some mint. I can imagine it would work well cold brewed to bring out the mint taste, and bring down the astringent characteristics of the green tea, fairly common in gun powder varieties. As a hot tea, the mint is subtle, more of a feeling in your mouth than a taste. Disappointingly, the mint smell dissipates after brewing – unlike the strong smell that wafts from the newly opened tin.
This is very temperature sensitive tea – loosing flavor profiles when over steeped or if the water is too hot. Re-steeping should be limited to once before the flavors get muddled. Re-steeping does not improve the flavor, but with the very light mint flavor after re-steeping, it is a wonderful afternoon drink, and pairs well with dark chocolate.
The first thing you’ll notice is the pungent smell. This is immediately going to split people into loving or hating the tea. It’s damp and earthy, and smells of age, but betrays a slight sweetness underneath it. Moss in running water mixed with damp leaves comes to mind.
The next thing is the taste – which has to be split out into sections. This is a tea designed to be re-steeped three times.
1st steep tastes much like it smells. Hay, caramel, earth. It’s not very complex, save for a light sweetness on the back of the mouth between sips one expects from a Golden tea, while much subtle it does linger for a little while. Honestly though, the first steep is hard to get incredibly excited about, as it lacks the bite and layers I expect in a Pu-erh.
2nd Steep: They smell of Hay becomes more prominent and a few more layers get revealed.
3rd Steep: Still a strong flavor, but I think this is where the tea is best. The sweet after taste comes on sooner and lingers longer.
Flavors: Earth, Hay
This is a great workhorse of a tea. A nice light caffeine kick to get you started in the morning that is very forgiving to over/under steeping and temperature. Pairs well with bananas oddly. Re-steeping the leaves once lends itself to a very similar flavor as the first, but the third you’ll notice some flavor changes and I find to be refreshing. I wouldn’t recommend any further than three, as it becomes tea colored water, but no off-taste is extracted so I do it occasionally if I just want something warm. It is not an exciting tea, or particularly unique, but it does what it does very well and I was content to reach for it.
Like a good golden, the smell and taste of hay is at the forefront. A very light sweetness, I would describe as malt, and low acidity makes this an excellent choice for those that take their tea without milk or sugar.
Here’s the thing – at $10 an ounce, this is an expensive tea. I don’t think it lives up to the price point, even internally. the Indonesian Gold I got at the same time is very similar and almost half as expensive.
Flavors: Hay, Malt