I’m still cleaning out the backlog. After this review, I should only have one or two others to post. I bought a big 8 ounce tin of this tea last year and finally managed to finish the last of it this morning. Over the past week or thereabouts, I have been experimenting with cold brewing this tea, and honestly, that did not turn out nearly as badly as anticipated. Still, I think I favor this as a hot brew. As Chinese gunpowder green teas go, this one was rock solid.

For this review session, I utilized a two step Western-style preparation. First, I steeped a full teaspoon of loose tea leaves in approximately 8 ounces of 175 F water for 2 minutes. I then resteeped the leaves for 3 minutes in the same amount of water.

Prior to infusion, the dry tea pellets emitted smoky, grassy aromas. The first infusion brought out hints of hay, straw, and citrus. In the mouth, I got a nice mix of hay, straw, grass, char, wood, smoke, roasted Brussels sprouts, seaweed, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Napa cabbage, and grilled lemon notes balanced by a touch of spring honey. The second infusion produced a more vegetal and slightly more honeyed bouquet. In the mouth, I picked up far stronger honey, grilled lemon, and seaweed notes to go with the expected notes of roasted Brussels sprouts, Napa cabbage, wood, smoke, char, hay, straw, grass, cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach. There was also a slight mineral presence in the mouth.

Overall, this was a nice tea. I know that gunpowder green tea is never going to be the highest quality or most complex tea in the world, but compared to many of the other gunpowder green teas I have had, this one had a lot going for it. It may not have been anything out of the ordinary, but this was the sort of tea that would be a consistent, reliable daily drinker for the sort of person who takes a cup or two of green tea each day.

Flavors: Broccoli, Char, Grass, Hay, Honey, Lemon, Mineral, Seaweed, Smoke, Spinach, Straw, Vegetal, Wood

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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