Adventaggedon Day 20: Tea 6/8
The advent Gods must be pretty pleased with themselves today because I complained yesterday about how I simply don’t believe good Gunpowder tea exists and then not 24 hours later they served up a second straight Gunpowder for me to deal with. That’s cosmic karma.
Because I just don’t love plain Gunpowder and because the sample was fairly large I decided that I’d make the most out of it and try some fun, weird tea experiementation and home blending. I saw earlier this week a company on IG that was selling a blend of Lapsang Souchong and Szechuan peppercorns and that immediately caught my attention. If you’ve never had a straight Szechuan peppercorn it’s a one of a kind experience. They aren’t hot but they do immediately trigger a very intense sensation when you chew on one – it’s like your mouth simultaneously goes numb but also has this static-like “prickling” sensation. Sort of like the fuzzy feeling of having a limb that’s fallen asleep beginning to wake up. At the same time, you can’t stop salivating and the taste is like an intense fruity, almost citrus-like, explosion. So the thought of that pairing with a really woodsy camphor heavy smoked tea? Ooh, baby – no we’re cooking with gas!
So, for my home experimentation I mixed in a few pinches of a really aggresively smoked African black tea with about seven or eight gently crushed Szechuan peppercorns and then I steeped that gongfu! Now, the reality is that I probably would have much preferred to just be steeping Lapsang Souchong/smoked tea and the peppercorns but that’s not what I was doing – so I did get quite a bit of vegetal green tea taste from the Gunpowder. However, it was baked with an extra push of delicious savory smoke and a very distinct lemony taste from the peppercorns that complimented perfectly. No mouth static sensation because I didn’t have as many peppercorns as I think I’d need to trigger that plus they weren’t as directly exposed to my tastebuds – but the overall fruity taste definitely translated!
It was a very unique steeping experience and 100% an improvement upon just drinking the Gunpowder tea straight up.