The green gunpowder I bought at Whittard’s in York finally ran out, so I was looking to replace it.
After a bit of research, I thought I’d give local tea shop 5 O’clock Tea‘s ecological green gunpowder a try.
One of the best things about visiting this shop is the bike ride there. The most direct route takes me through a park, a pleasant alternative to the bike path running alongside the main roads, weather permitting. Wet gravel is no fun whatsoever.
This particular run was laughably good – on both the outward and homeward legs the gods of cycling were clearing all obstacles from my path.
I was insta-served in the shop itself, and so a little over half an hour after unlocking my bike outside our apartment block I was tethering it up once more.
This, it has to be said, is a curious tea.
The dried leaf is a lot less uniform in appearance compared to other green gunpowders I’ve encountered.
The individual leaves vary in size quite a bit, as well as the degree of oxidation and tightness of the roll. Maybe I’m out cycling here, as we say in Swedish, but perhaps this suggests more of a hand-made (as opposed to machine-made) procedure?
The dried leaf also had a very light, quite neutral aroma, again quite unlike any other green gunpowder I’d had before.
What fragrance there was was slightly grassy, minty even, and this carried over to the finished tea.
With the lighter leaves looking very green indeed I kept the water temperature to the lower end of the spectrum, 80°C.
I like to brew my breakfast tea Western style, and as always I employed the 3 tsp / 600ml ratio. I performed 2 steepings, at 2 and 3 minutes respectively.
To be honest I think the second steeping pulled the best flavour out of the leaves – the first was a bit too delicate and lacking body. I got the feeling, however, that a third steeping would be pushing my luck a bit too much.
It was without doubt the most delicate green gunpowder I’ve drunk, with barely a hint of astringency and not a trace of smokiness.
That doesn’t mean I thought it was a bad tea per se, just very different from your average green gunpowder.
The fact that it had a low astringency rating did however mean that it might be just the thing I was looking for, as far as two other projects were concerned.
Firstly, I reckoned that it might make an ideal candidate for cold brewing.
Secondly, having read about lemongrass flavoured green tea over at Cat’s blog “Tea Of The Day“ I thought I’d have a shot at jacking the flavour of this tea with some fresh stalks of lemongrass.
Well, I can happily inform you that both experiments were very successful indeed, as upcoming posts will detail.
That does still mean that I’ll have to continue my search for a better breakfast green gunpowder.
Watch this space, etc.