Leaf Type: Black, Green & Pu’Erh blend
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Smoky traces of gunpowder, aged leather, mellowed with a trace of hazelnut. A distinguished, if tired, blend.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is one of Cara McGee’s Sherlock fandom blends. It’s the one I was most hesitant about, since Gunpowder and Pu’Erh are both (to my mind) acquired tastes. I used 1 tsp of leaf, and gave it approximately 2.5 minutes in boiling water. Water temperature with black/green blends is always something of a trial and error process for me, so I went by eye and took out the leaves once the liquor was a medium brown. The scent is typical Pu’Erh – earthy, with a slight whiff of horse manure.
To taste, the first thing that makes its presence known is (of course) the Pu’Erh. It’s milder than I anticipated, but still a distinctive flavour. The earthiness is its most prominent feature, and it’s reminiscent of compost after it’s been warmed in the sun. A wholesome, natural kind of flavour, and deeply savoury. There’s also a smooth nuttiness, which complements the earthiness really well. The Gunpowder is far less of a feature than I thought it might be. There’s a slight dankness in the aftertaste that I’ve come to associate with this variety of green tea, but it’s mostly absent on the whole. As the cup cools, it develops a light astringency.
As a fandom blend, I’m fairly happy with this one. Greg comes across as a wholesome character, keen to see the best in people. His job seems to weigh on him a bit. The Pu’Erh does a good job of capturing the wholesome aspect, brightened by the hazelnut, and the dank, almost damp-tasting Gunpowder could suggest something troubling underlying. I appreciate the thought that clearly goes into these blends; the choice of teas, the flavours, and the meanings they might have. It makes for an interesting drinking experience, especially if you’re familiar with the Sherlock series.
Aside from the fandom aspect, this would be a good introduction to Pu’Erh for those that fear it, or are just looking for an entry point. It’s pretty mild as Pu’Erh goes, although there’s enough of the characteristic flavours to get a sense of what the variety is about. It’s also lightly flavoured, which helps to make it more palatable – the hazelnut is complementary, although not overpowering, and it disguises some of the more “farmyard” characteristics that Pu’Erh can display.
This isn’t a tea I’d drink frequently, simply due to my own tastes and preferences. Having said that, it’s a pleasant cup, and I’ll have no problem finishing off my tin in the long run. A fairly unique, intriguing blend.