|Country of Origin:
||Gunpowder "Temple of Heaven"
||1000 - 2000 feet
||Steamed green tea
||A green tea with surprising body and
captivating almost nutty green tea taste.
||Medium green with golden notes
Legend has it that the name
Gunpowder was given by an young English clerk who thought the tiny rolled green
balls looked like gunpowder. The tea leaves are specially selected for quality,
size and style. They are then rolled into very small tight nuggets. Gunpowder
tea keeps a lot longer than other green teas and is favored because of this
characteristic. Chinese exporters† recommend gunpowder for iced tea
flavored with lemon and sugar. Gunpowder tea is also very popular in Morocco
where the leaves are boiled and mint and sugar are added..
The leaves for Gunpowder are
only plucked during April and May when the quality of the green leaf is at
itís highest.† The leaves are steamed and tightly rolled in a time
honored process.† When preparing this tea, part of the ritual is to take
two pinches of Gunpowder and drop them into a porcelain cup so you hear the
jingle and tinkle of the leaves hitting the sides. 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 if you are making a teapot full you only require one or two
teaspoons for a teapot.
Chinese researchers have found
that gunpowder tea is high in fluoride and known to reduce cavities. They say
that a human body requires 1-2 milligrams of fluoride a day. Ten grams of
gunpowder tea† (enough to make 3 cups of strong tea) can supply this
Hot tea brewing method:
When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times.
The secret is to use water that is about 180íF or 80íC. Place about 1/2 a
teaspoon in your cup, let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin
enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the
water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of
the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do
they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting
themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Iced tea brewing method:†
(to make 1 liter/quart) :† Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or
heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea.
Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the
tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves.† Add ice and top up the
pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. [A rule of thumb when
preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it
will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.]