If you are looking for a tea that packs a punch, you might want to try gunpowder tea. This is a type of green or black tea with leaves rolled into small pellets that resemble the black powder used in fireworks. Gunpowder tea has a long history and a distinctive flavor that will make you feel energized and refreshed.
Gunpowder tea is a well-known Chinese green tea, native to Zhejiang Province, in the eastern coast of China. It dates back to the Tang Dynasty 618–907, and it was one of the first green teas exported from China. Its English name comes from its resemblance to grains of gunpowder, but its Chinese name means “pearl tea” or “bead tea”.
Gunpowder tea is made by withering, steaming, rolling, and drying the tea leaves. The rolling process helps to preserve the flavor and aroma of the tea, as well as to protect it from physical damage and breakage. High grade pellets are shiny and tightly rolled, while lower quality teas have larger pellets.
Gunpowder tea has a smoky flavor and a high caffeine content. It is often brewed with mint leaves or sugar to balance its bitterness. It is also popular in North Africa and the Middle East, where it is known as Moroccan mint tea or Touareg tea. It is usually served in small glasses with a lot of sugar and fresh mint leaves.
Gunpowder tea is divided into several grades using a combination of numbers and letters. For example, 3505AAA is considered the highest grade while 9375 is a relatively lower grade. There are also different varieties of gunpowder tea, such as Pingshui gunpowder, Formosa gunpowder, and oolong gunpowder.
This rolling method of shaping tea is most often applied either to dried green tea (the most commonly encountered variety outside China) or oolong tea. Some other types of teas that are rolled into “gunpowder” form are Chunmee, Tieguanyin, Huang Guanyin, and Dong Ding.
If you want to experience the explosive taste of gunpowder tea, here are some tips on how to brew it:
- Use slightly less than 1 teaspoon of gunpowder pellets per cup of water.
- Use water that is below boiling point, around 80°C (176°F).
- Steep the tea for 2 to 3 minutes, depending on your preference.
- Enjoy your gunpowder tea plain or with mint and sugar.
Gunpowder tea is a great choice for those who love strong and smoky teas. It will give you a boost of energy and a sense of adventure. Try it today and see for yourself why it is called gunpowder tea.