Saturday, November 11, 2006

Review: Peet's Gunpowder

Before I begin, I should note that I'm not going into this review objectively. If I had started this blog two years ago1 I could be giving you my first impressions on more brands, but since I didn't, it's only fair to let you know:

I don't like Peet's tea.

This is a difficult thing to admit. I'm a third (fourth?) generation Berkeley resident; speaking ill of Peet's is like rooting for Stanford over Cal or voting Republican. That kind of shit gets you uninvited from Christmas.2 But there it is, and I can't take it back. Peet's tea: kind of flavorless and a little overpriced.

I also really love Gunpowder. Not just the taste or the smell or the magical health benefits. No, I love Gunpowder tea because it's adorable. F'real. It is a thing which looks like a different thing. Man, I love things that look like other things.

So, after being previously disappointed by Peet's Gunpowder Tea, I was a little hesitant to have it again. But I'm at my parents' house for a couple days, and I figured maybe I'd give it another try. For the blog's sake.

This tea isn't as bad as I remembered. It's a bit weak, and the line between brewing it long enough to get enough flavor and overbrewing is thin, but it's not an insurmountable obstacle. It's heavy on the gunpowder, light on the tea, which I love, although it's worth noting that if you do overbrew it the smokiness leaves an incredibly unpleasant aftertaste.

Still, when made right I have no real complaints. I wouldn't buy it myself, but I may drink it at my folks' house in the future.

Overall: two and a half stars. No bonus points for exceeding expectations.

1I've been drinking tea for more than two years, mind you, but before that all my tea was purchased in Canada so I only had opinions on Canadian brands. Opinion: the tea shop at Niagara on the Lake is totally rad

2Or Saturnalia


Altissima said...

Could you please give your formula (time, temp, quantities?)for brewing the ideal gunpowder tea, without crossing that very fine line from under-brewed to over-brewed.

(One of the things I like about the Lupicia Green Grapefruit, is that it is difficult to overbrew. Still tastes great even if I forget to pour for 20 mins after brewing!

Carrie said...

I wish I had one. Unfortunately, I'm not remotely scientific in my tea brewing so I'm just playing it by ear every time.

But I agree, all of Lupicia's green teas are highly user-friendly, I usually just leave the tea ball in the mug while I'm drinking them.