Today is Tax Day, and the only folks I know who get excited about it each year are my accountant friends, who are understandably happy to be winding up this crazy-busy season of the year. Because of the role of tea and taxes in our nation's history, I thought it would be appropriate to fill my cup today with Elmwood Inn's Hyson Green Tea, as this is one of the types of tea that was thrown into Boston Harbor during the Boston Tea Party.
The tea tin says, "The three tea ships raided at Boston Harbor are thought to have contained nearly 342 chests of several types of teas, including Bohea, Congou, Souchong, and Hyson." Our protests aren't nearly as colorful today, are they? You know what I've always wondered? After the tea was dumped, did anybody ever scoop up a handful of water from Boston Harbor to see if you could taste the tea? I can't help wondering if it got "cold brewed" there in the harbor.
According to Elmwood Inn Fine Teas, at the time of the Boston Tea Party a third of the exported tea from China was green tea, and green Hyson was considered the best. It's the one the Chinese called yu-tsien or "before the rains" tea. From the tin: "The English thought the name of this tea sounded like the name of a wealthy East India Company director in London named Phillip Hyson, and the young tea took on Mr. Hyson's more pronounceable name." Here's what the dry tea leaves look like. The scent is a combination of woodsy and grassy, a very fresh scent.
And here it is steeped. These leaves had a very vegetal scent, rather like steamed spinach. The taste was what I consider a classic green tea taste, slightly grassy, and I want to drink more green tea since it's been in the news lately for boosting memory AND burning calories, both of which are great benefits. (To keep up with more tea news, I have started regularly posting links to stories of interest to the tea world on Twitter, link at top right, including studies on the medicinal benefits of tea.) I very much enjoyed this Hyson Green Tea, which is available on the Elmwood Inn Fine Teas site here. Throwing it into your local harbor in protest of taxes is entirely optional.