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A green tea with strength and captivating green tea taste. The tight curl gives gunpowder a long shelf life - a prized attribute.
Legend has it that the name Gunpowder was given by a young English clerk who thought the tiny rolled green balls looked like gunpowder. The tealeaves are specially selected for quality, size and style. They are then rolled into tight nuggets. Gunpowder tea keeps a lot longer than other green teas and is favored because of this characteristic.
Gunpowder tea comes from the province of Zhejiang in China and from Taiwan. Generally the better gunpowders come from Taiwan. Interestingly Taiwan's gunpowder quality improved after 1949. Another interesting point; before the 1900's, gunpowder tea comprised about 60% of Americas total tea imports compared to today, when it is less than 1 percent.
Today in Taiwan the tea bushes flush about 5 times per year from April to December. The best leaf is picked from the end of May to mid-August. The first tea bushes were planted in Taiwan about 300 years ago with bushes from Fujian Province. The tea growing and production is concentrated around the northern part of Taiwan near Chi-lung.
When the tea is made the tiny pellets jingle and tinkle in the bowl or cup. Boiling water causes them to open up like flowers and sink slowly to the bottom in graceful patterns, which add a dimension of visual pleasure to tea drinking. This gunpowder produces a reasonably strong dark-green brew with a memorable fragrance, a slightly bitter but not unpleasant flavor and a long lasting finish. Gunpowder is more dense than other teas so one or two teaspoons for a teapot is all that is required.
Brewing for Best Results
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 190°F/88°C.
Modern Method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 190°F/ 88°C. With an infuser, use 1/2 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Rinse the tea first by placing enough prepared water over the leaves and leave set for 10 seconds. Discard rinse water. Do not drink. Steep 3-5 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
Traditional Method: When preparing by the traditional method, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 - 4 times. Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 190°F/ 88°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Rinse the tea first by placing enough prepared water over the leaves and leave set for 10 seconds. Discard rinse water. Do not drink. Pour the prepared water directly over the leaves after the rinse. Steep for about 2 minutes then remove leaves. Rinsing the leaves are not recommended when brewing the second or third time.
Tea(s) From: Taiwan
Region(s): Taipei County
Luxury Ingredients: Green tea
iced tea instructions
Per Serving: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 180°F/ 88°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 7-9 oz of fluid water. Steep 5 minutes. Add filtered hot tea to 16 oz glass filled with ice.
Per Pitcher: Makes 1 Quart. Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 180°F/ 88°C. Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea in a heat resistant container. Pour 1 ¼ cup of prepared water over the tea leaves. Steep 5-7 minutes. With a fine mesh sieve, filter the hot tea liquor to the serving pitcher filled with ice. Add cold filtered water to top off. (Some luxury teas will turn cloudy when poured over ice).
Making an amazing cup of tea requires several things. High quality tea, filtered or freshly drawn cold water, correct water temperature, time of infusion, and filters/infusers. Unfiltered water or too hot of water can ruin the best of teas. Always use filtered or freshly drawn cold water. Any flavor from water treatments or heavy minerals such as lime or calcium can taint the water. Brew at the ideal temperature. Too hot of water can scorch the leaves and produce a bitter brew. If you find that the tea is still bitter following the recommended brewing temperature, try lowering the brew temperature another 5 to 10 degrees. Use infusers that allow the tea leaves to fully expand and has full contact with the water. Ditch the tea bags. Know the steeping time for your tea. Too long of steeping can make your tea bitter and undesirable. Too short of time will make a weak tea. Don’t make tea in the microwave.
We strongly recommend using filtered or freshly drawn cold water brought to a rolling boil when brewing all types of tea. Today’s water has been known to carry viruses, parasites and bacteria. Boiling the water will kill these elements and reduce the potential incidence of water-borne illness. Cool the water to the ideal brewing temperature before brewing.