It’s a lovely Sunday evening, and I spent the day reading, running errands, cooking, and drinking tea – though not necessarily in that order. Which means that it’s time to discuss tea and books again!
Today’s tea: Sleeping Dragon Green from Simple Loose Leaf.
How I brewed it: The label for this tea says to steep it in 180°F (82°C) water for 2-3 minutes. I was a little bit eager to turn off the kettle before it had reached a full boil, so I brewed it using only 80°C water for 3 minutes. However, I honestly doubt that a decrease of 2 degrees would make a difference. I steeped the same leaves twice, and got similar-tasting tea in both steeps.
What it’s like: Simple Loose Leaf describes this tea as being similar to gunpowder green tea, with its smokiness and sweetness, and that’s pretty close to the truth. I know gunpowder green mainly as the base for Moroccan Mint teas and as the kind of default green tea I’ve encountered in many dim-sum restaurants, so the flavour was very familiar to me.
The dry leaves were dark green, tightly-rolled little balls, and smelled kind of vegetal and smoky. The brewed tea was a nice amber colour with a hint of green, and it was slightly smoky and generally unassuming. However, after drinking a lot of it at once, it did start to become slightly astringent. For me, this would be the perfect kind of tea to have in the morning when I’m too groggy to make any important decisions – a tea that’s no fuss and undemanding.
Given the name of the tea – Sleeping Dragon Green – it’s kind of obvious that I needed to find a fictional dragon to link it with. Smaug? No, completely out of character. Something from Game of Thrones? Nah, I did that last week. Another dragon from Tolkien’s lore, like Ancalagon the Black or Glaurung? No, no, no. Not in keeping with this tea at all.
It was my husband who suggested the perfect dragon: Kazul, from Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing With Dragons, the first book in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles — and also the only book in the series that I’ve read so far. At the end of the book, she becomes King of the Dragons (not Queen of the Dragons, I must emphasize) with the help of Princess Cimorene, who proves vital in uncovering the scheme between a group of wizards and a rival dragon to stage a coup. Both characters are thoughtful, intelligent, and brave — in other words, no-nonsense, which is exactly like this tea. And also like this tea, Kazul keeps her fire to a minimum and displays only a little bit of smoke.
Even better is that it seems Kazul drinks gunpowder green, since Cimorene mentions that the dragon keeps it in her cupboard. It says so right there on page 65! During my hasty re-read of the book this afternoon — for, um, research purposes rather than to have a rollicking good time, of course — I nearly leapt off the couch in joy when I read that.
Where you can get it: Simple Loose Leaf doesn’t appear to sell Sleeping Dragon Green on its own site, but it looks like they got their tea from Adagio.
Note: Simple Loose Leaf gave me a sample of this tea for free to review.