The question I’m most often asked when this tea is in our weekly farmers market rotation is: “Is it really gunpowder? Like from a gun that you shoot?” Only once did I say yes and asked if he was a hunter and in need of ammo. The look on his face was worth the karma I think I took on for that fib that clearly was meant for my own entertainment. I came clean after I stopped laughing, and he (luckily) thought it was really funny. I mean it when I say: I have some of the best tea customers around. So what exactly is this crazy tea called “Gunpowder” or “Temple of Heaven”?
It’s a classic green tea – usually from Zhejiang province, China and because the leaves are hand-rolled into tiny pellets, it was given the name: Gunpowder tea. Its often mildly smokey and has a very long finish. This is a robust green tea and if steeped too long can become very astringent and even bitter – which for some is preferred. Gunpowder is the base used for Moroccan Mint tea and the smokiness of the green tea paired with mint leaves is a brilliant combination which will be featured later in the month. In the meantime, below are some notes on this robust brew:
• Overview: A classic green tea that is more robust then most greens. It has weight.
• Dry Leaf: Tightly rolled “pin head” size leaves, shiny green
• Liquor (liquid): Darker then you would expect – almost a dark greenish brown
• Aroma: Vegetal, hints of smoke from a chiminea
• Flavor notes: Pungent, astringent, hint of smoke, long finish
• Brewing recommendation: 175° Fº / 2-3 minutes. Be sure to use water that is under boiling in temperature.
• Caffeine: Yes
If you are interested in giving this tea a try, please visit the Pearl Fine Teas tea shop today and use code: 25TEAS4 at checkout to get 25% of Gunpowder Green Tea – today only!
-The Chief Leaf