May 21, 2013
Tea Review: Tea for Tyrants Gyokuro Superior
Tea for Tyrants is a brilliant concept: order tea, collect artwork, discover new music! And the idea is well executed. My tea, art, and music arrived in an appropriately sized cardboard box. The two tins of gyokuro were cushioned with biodegradable "straw" material (which I will reuse in a bird craft project for a sweet group of preschoolers). The digital download is a QR code printed on 3" x 5" card. Above the code are brewing instructions and information about the musical artist. On the reverse is the art. The card is index sized so it's perfect for cataloging.
I participated in the Tea for Tyrants Kickstarter campaign and for my level of donation I received two 2-ounce tins of Gyokuro Superior paired with music by Lovely Tyrants. Each tin contains 50 grams of tea. Gyokuro is one of my favorite types of green teas.
The perfume of the dry leaves is wonderful. Sweet like caramel and banana bread. It reminds me of my favorite childhood ice cream: grape nuts ice cream. (Here's a recipe for grape nuts ice cream via Serious Eats.) The color of the steeped leaves darkens with each steep and as you lengthen the steep. My first steep is usually 30 seconds followed by 1 minute steeps. I prepare the gyokuro using a gaiwan. The first steep is usually fresh tasting, like a likely steamed vegetable. Subsequent cups taste and smell like asparagus and there's a little hint of nori. I really like asparagus.
Thinking about ordering tea? Try Tea for Tyrants. The company offers several other teas: another gyokuro (Karigane), two senchas (Houjicha bancha and Fukamushi), and an organic matcha.
(As for the music, I haven't listened to it yet. My devices and a couple of browsers are out of sync with soundcloud. By the way, Tea for Tyrants founders, Phil Lomac and Andy Angelos, are the Lovely Tyrants.)