Buy Gunpowder Tea! The world’s finest pearl tea (called Gunpowder in the west) originates in Pingsui County in mainland China’s Zhejian Province. Originally, the shape was used to preserve quality by reducing surface area. However, the shape also makes this tea very tolerant of water temperatures.
Suggestions: When you Buy Gunpowder Tea, steep in spring water at boiling temperature for 3-4 minutes. Then use some Raw Desert Honey to enhance the taste.
While brewing methods vary widely by tea and individual preferences, 1 teaspoon of looseleaf tea is recommended for every 150 ml (5.07 oz) of water. Ideal water temperature for this type of tea is between 70 °C (158 °F) to 80 °C (176 °F). For the first and second brewing, leaves should be steeped for around one minute. It is also recommended that the tea cup or tea pot used be rinsed with hot water prior to brewing the tea to warm the vessels. When brewed, gunpowder tea is a yellow color.
About Gunpowder Tea (Pearl Tea)
Gunpowder tea (pearl tea) is a form of Chinese tea in which each leaf has been rolled into a small round pellet. Its English name comes from its resemblance to grains of 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.
Gunpowder tea production dates back to the Tang Dynasty 618–907. It was first introduced to Taiwan in the nineteenth century. Gunpowder tea leaves are withered, steamed, rolled, and then dried. Although the individual leaves were formerly rolled by hand, today most gunpowder tea is rolled by machines (though the highest grades are still rolled by hand). Rolling renders the leaves less susceptible to physical damage and breakage and allows them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. In addition, it allows certain types of oolong teas to be aged for decades if they are cared for by being occasionally roasted.
When buying gunpowder tea, it is important to look for shiny pellets, which indicate that the tea is relatively fresh. Pellet size is also associated with quality: larger pellets being considered a mark of lower quality tea; high quality gunpowder tea will have small, tightly rolled pellets.
The flavor of brewed gunpowder tea is often described as thick and strong like a soft honey, but with a smokey flavor, and an aftertaste that is slightly coppery. This type of tea is also often seen as having a flavor that is somewhat grassy, minty, or peppery.