Gunpowder Tea, a tea that every tea lover must try once, has the coolest presence when you brew it. Like Oolong Tea, Wu Yi Tea, Puerh Tea and other loose Teas, Gunpowder Tea leaves expand when it encounters with hot water. However, unlike other teas (watch this when you brew Gunpowder Tea), the little pin-like Gunpowder Tea pellets will slowly unfold like little holy spirits dancing in the water while spreading its unique fresh aroma. Well, it might even add a bit of freshness if you are brewing your Gunpowder Tea in your backyard or balcony where the open space is.
Why would a tea be named after Gunpowder? Follow me!
Gunpowder Tea History
A Gunpowder Tea fan from Squidoo shares with us the History of Gunpowder Tea.
What is Gunpowder Tea?
Gunpowder tea is a Chinese green tea that dates back to the Tang dynasty (about the 8th century, possibly earlier). It is traditionally a whole-leaf tea, rolled up into tiny pellets that look, apparently, like gunpowder. Modern gunpowder tea is rolled by machine, but in the past (and still in particularly high quality, exclusive brands) it was rolled by hand, into pellets potentially as small at the head of a pin.
There are three varieties of gunpowder tea:
Pingshui Gunpowder is the most common and original variety, and the most widely available. It is strongly coloured and flavoured, and has a distinctive fresh aroma.
Formosa Gunpowder (depicted above) is a more modern variety of gunpowder tea grown in Taiwan. It is less strongly coloured than the Pingshui variety, and also has a subtly different scent and flavour.
Ceylon Gunpowder is grown not in China, but in Sri Lanka, and at a higher altitude. I can’t prove it, but if you ask me, the altitude makes it somewhat sweeter than the Chinese variety, though it could be that the flavour is simply lighter overall. Technically, it is a Ceylon tea, but it shares the characteristic rolled shape of traditional gunpowder tea, and so is often included among them.
Pingshui Gunpowder Tea is one of my personal favourites. It has a bitter flavour and a very sweet after taste. You can enhance and taste the sweetness by taking a sip of spring water right after you have the Gunpowder Tea.
Gunpowder Tea not only has a great taste and aroma, but also contains many health benefits.
Gunpowder Tea Benefits
We are thankful to have Gunpowder Tea expert Mary reveals to us all these following amazing health benefits of Gunpowder Tea.
Gunpowder tea contains high levels of free-radical-fighting antioxidants. These antioxidants can neutralize the free radicals and reduce the damage they can cause to cells.
Astringent Properties and Fluoride Content
Research from University of Maryland Medical Center shows that Gunpowder Tea causes contraction of tissue and therefore has beneficial astringent qualities to help heal wounds and control bleeding.
Due to the polyphenols in gunpowder tea that fight free radicals, and the tea’s antibacterial properties, skin ages less quickly, and general body physiology is better regulated, thus slowing aging.
World’s Healthiest Foods cites a study in which people who regularly drank green tea for at least one year had up to 65 percent lower blood pressure levels than those who did not drink green tea during that same period.
Low in Calories
Not only is gunpowder green tea beneficial, but drinking it won’t pack on the pounds. A cup of tea contains about four calories.
A tea that has only four calories per cup and contains high levels of anti-oxidants?! I ought to drink more of it! Now before you rush to your Tea Chest to grab your Gunpowder Tea, let me share with you some brewing tips to get the best out of the Gunpowder Tea.
How To Make A Perfect Cup Of Gunpowder Tea
Are you ready to brew the perfect cup of Gunpowder Tea? Let’s follow Gunpowder Tea super-fan Michael and Alida to demonstrate for us the way they make a perfect cup of Gunpowder Tea.
How to make Gunpowder tea?
First, use porcelain tea ware. If possible, choose a white porcelain tea cup so that you can see the true color of your tea.
Use spring water to enhance and protect its flavour. Tap water may alter the flavour of your tea greatly, as its taste may vary depending on the mineral content of the water sources in your region.
Pre-warm your tea cups and tea pots with hot water.
Green teas are more delicate, so you shouldn’t boil the water but water of the temperature of 70ºC – 80ºC (158ºF – 176ºF).
Since Gunpowder is denser than other teas, use just one teaspoon for every 150ml of water.
Let it steep for 1 minute for the first two brewings and increase the steeping time for the following ones. Feel free to try different steeping times till you find the one that suits you better. The longer you let your tea brew, the stronger will be its taste.
Now, for some moments of pure pleasure and delight, watch how the pellets unfold in your teapot from those tiny little balls into beautiful leaves. Smell that nutty aroma and enjoy that marvelous yellow liquor in your cup!
Can you smell that nutty aroma yet? I do! And I am watching those beautiful tea leaves unfolding just marvelously! Enjoy your perfect cup of Gunpowder Tea!
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