Gunpowder green tea was among the first green teas I’d tried as a kid. It’s a little nostalgic and is now my go-to drink when I’m having a rough day and just need a pick-me-up. It’s also probably responsible for my affinity for smoky-tasting teas and wines.
Sleeping Dragon picks up some of those notes from a good gunpowder tea, especially in the first cup. The first steep is rich, smoky, with subtle hints of fruit. Steep a second time and you get more of a fruity, lightly sweet green with a smoother, well-rounded flavor. (If you don’t like smoky tea, you can steep for 1.5 to 2 minutes and cut back on those flavors.)
This is a tea that’s fun to watch in a glass teapot—pellets slowly unfurl into long, beautiful green leaves that have a wonderful fragrance. If you’re not a fan of really grassy green teas, I highly recommend this one. It’s also a great intro to loose-leaf greens for friends who are new to green teas—it’s a very mild flavor that won’t send curious tea drinkers running the other way.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Sleeping Dragon green tea is grown at about 3,000 feet in the mountainous Fujian province. The tightly rolled leaves and silvery fuzzy buds give this tea its signature shape and name. In the cup, it delivers a soft, fruity sweetness enfolded by a rich smokey note similar to a gunpowder, but more complex and crisp in the finish. Sleeping Dragon remains a great cup for a green tea novice or those who oppose the grassy character of some varieties.