There is a large display of teas from Elmwood Inns at the local International Market I frequently shop at. I decided to take a chance and purchase one just to check out the brand itself. Elmwood’s website appears that they take the tea craft very seriously which peaked my interest. Elmwood’s “Tea Maestro” owner has written 14 books on Tea and frequently lectures around the country at Tea events. They even seem to have a “Tea School” or “Master Class” seminar offered in Kentucky which is where they are headquartered. I decided to try a Green Tea and, sadly, the only one I could find not full of additives was a Sencha and Hyson. I decided to test my luck with the Hyson having never tried that particular style. It was marketed as “The American Revolution: Boston Tea Party” in reference to this being one of the main teas thrown overboard in Boston harbor in 1773. It evidently was also a favorite of Thomas Jefferson. It is a “Young Hyson” which is what you want to see as well from all that I have read. Sadly, after all that build up, this tea completely failed to impress. That is actually the kindest thing I can say. It smelled terribly musty which I don’t think I have ever experienced with a Green Tea. It smelled almost like a poor quality cooked Puer. When I brewed it, I found that I needed to wash the tea which I normally only have to do with select Blacks, Puer and Oolongs. There was so much tea dust in the tin that it created an absurdly dark brew within seconds. Almost like I was brewing from a tea bag. I did a 2nd infusion and it really didn’t improve much. The third infusion was the only one I really was able to drink the tea from. The taste was very astringent despite the gentle brew of 175 °F / 2 Min 30 Sec. The musty scent was also infused in the taste and I found it completely off-putting. I had a little more success when I switched from a single serving mug/infuser to a cast iron Japanese tea pot. I eventually started to get some green tea flavor with a slight citrus aftertaste using this method. The irony of this being marketed as an American Revolution Tea is that is tastes like it has been sitting in a basement since the 18th century. I’m sorry if this is not a good representation of what Elmwood has to offer. I would be embarrassed to sell this if I was them.
Flavors: Citrus, Musty