A few weeks ago, there was a surprise in the mail: a few ounces of green tea from The Great Mississippi Tea Company. Intrigued by tea grown in the contiguous United States, I tasted and tested this lovely green tea over four steeps on a warm Thursday afternoon.

The parameters: filtered water, heated to 175 degrees; initial steep of two minutes, increasing by one minute with each steep. One-and-one-half teaspoons of tea for a nine ounce cup. The first steep tasted sweet, grassy, and very pleasant. The second steep – always the sweet spot for me – was very satisfying.

The sweet hit was slightly diminished, allowing a fuller range of astringency mellowed by what I can only describe as “fresh”. The third steep reminded me of a lightly oxidized high mountain oolong. The fourth steep evidenced a reduction in color as well as strength, but very pleasant as a finish.

When I first opened the bag, my first impression was that the tea was black. A whiff of the contents revealed the fragrance of freshly pruned camellias. My favorite teas are Darjeelings, which often smell like leather and tobacco, so I knew this wasn’t black. Looking at the leaves after steeping, this is clearly a green tea.

Not a fan of green tea, this offering from an American tea company is very promising. I fully intend to consume every gram! A record heat wave is scheduled to descend upon northern Oregon over the next two weeks and you can bet I will be cold-brewing some of this tea for cooling refreshment.

Disclaimer: this writer is not a trained tea reviewer.

Images courtesy of Jason McDonald