A little while ago, my mum provided me with a package of green tea she did not want. I happily accepted! This was Temple of Heaven Special Gunpowder. A nice everyday green tea in my opinion.
Gunpowder is grown in the Zhejiang province in China, but like any other tea, there are variations. Taste, aroma, and appearance depend on where and how the plant was grown and processed. In China, it is referred to as Zhu Cha which translates to "bead tea" or "pearl tea" but please don't confuse this with the Bubble Tea topic that I posted a couple of months back. No, this is something completely different. Gunpowder's name comes from its appearance. After the plucked leaves are withered and steamed, they are hand-rolled into pellets. Then, these pellets are dried resulting in a final product that looks much like grainy, black powder.
|Pellets of green tea.|
To prepare Gunpowder, I use 2 teaspoons of tea for every 1 cup of water which I bring to a full boil and allow to cool down to 75°C. Ideally, you want your water temperature to be between 70°C - 80°C. As always, play around with the amounts and temperatures to find what works best for you.
I steep my tea for about 2 minutes allowing the tightly rolled leaves to slowly unfold as it mingles with the water. The colour of the brew is a golden yellow. The flavour and aroma is bold and smoky. I can even detect hints of honey and grass.
|A shot of Gunpowder.|
You may do several infusions of Gunpowder. I'm able to get 4 infusions before the tea begins to lose its flavour. Each time, the leaves unfurled even more so, creating another level of tastes and scents.
As I said, this is a nice green tea to have on a daily basis. Gunpowder is often the green tea served in restaurants, in particular sushi joints. It's very popular in the Middle East. Mix it with spearmint and you've got yourself Moroccan Mint Green Tea. I just might do that!