Taste Test: Casey's .45 Gunpowder Blast - a Raspberry Lemon Gunpowder Green Tea!
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Tea Description: This is a tea that I created especially for a dear friend of mine - who has another friend who is celebrating his 45th birthday this month. She wanted to use a gunpowder base and knew that he was fond of lemon-y treats and felt that raspberry flavors would work together with the lemon - and I must say - she was right! I love this flavor combination and as someone who isn't particularly fond of tart flavors, I was pleasantly surprised by this tea.
I started with an organic Chinese gunpowder green tea and added lemon wedges and freeze-dried raspberries (both organic).
The tea is light, refreshing and bursting with delicious fruit flavor. Gunpowder tea is often a bit more bold in flavor than other green tea types because of the way the leaves are rolled into their tiny pellet form - thus preserving some of the flavor of the tea. This isn't overly smoky nor is it overly vegetative in taste. It is sweet, smooth, and somewhere between leafy and nutty - with strong notes of lemon and raspberry.
A wonderful summery tea!
organic ingredients: green tea, raspberries, lemons and natural flavors.
I am so happy with how this tea turned out. As I mentioned in the tea description above, I'm not particularly fond of tart flavors. I love the flavor of lemon and I love the flavor of raspberry - but I can't say that either is my favorite fruit flavor because they both do tend to be on the tart (and in the case of lemon - downright sour!) side.
So when my friend originally suggested these flavors, my first thought was "Oh my, this is going to be very tart!" And there is some tartness to this tea - make no mistake! It definitely is more tart than it is sweet - but it works. The strong notes of gunpowder here work to this tea's advantage, I think, helping to soften the tartness just a bit, lending some sweetness to the overall cup. The gunpowder tea is fresh and somewhat 'leafy green' but it also has a pleasant nutty taste to it. I know that some people often describe the flavor of gunpowder tea to be a little on the 'smoky' side and I must say that as a tea reviewer, I myself have noticed some smoky tones to some gunpowder teas that I've tasted for review. But I don't get a lot of that smokiness here. I'm not picking up on it.
The sip starts out with a big, bright flavor of both raspberry and lemon. The lemon isn't sour - I'm not puckering with every sip - but it is tart. I think that the two fruits together work very harmoniously - bringing out a sweetness to each fruit that I don't think I'd pick up on if either fruit were featured here on it's own. I think together, they are sweeter than they would be alone.
A really tasty tea - and what a great birthday gift!
to brew: give this tea a good shake to make sure that the pieces of fruit are well distributed throughout. because gunpowder pellets are so compact and not overly 'bulky' (that is to say, they don't take up a lot of 'air space' on the teaspoon when measuring), I don't think you need to over-leaf this one. a rounded (slightly heaping) teaspoon to 12 ounces of hot water should be quite enough of the leaf - so long as in that teaspoon, there aren't a lot of big pieces of fruit to take up space on the teaspoon. If you do happen to come across a large piece of freeze-dried raspberry or a large wedge of lemon, remove it from the actual measurement so that the fruit doesn't displace too many tea leaves from the measurement. Once you've measured enough leaf, you can add the larger chunks of fruit to your brewing vessel so that they get steeped along with the tea.
Add your 12 ounces of hot water - heated to 170°F - and let steep for 2 1/2 minutes. You might notice that I've lowered the temperature slightly and increased the brew time slightly. I did that to offset one another - I think that a slightly longer brew time helps to incorporate more flavor to the overall cup, while the slightly lower temperature helps to ensure that the tea won't be bitter.