Background: Look closely at this tea and you will see small, round pellets resembling grains of black powder. Also called “pearl tea” or “bead tea,” Gunpowder tea has a light sheen that indicates freshness. This unique tea is achieved by withering the leaves, then steaming and tightly rolling them, before drying them over high heat to impart a distinctive smoky flavor.
Production of this tea dates back to the Tang Dynasty, but it wasn’t introduced to Taiwan until the 19th century. From there, it spread to the rest of the world — including Morocco, where it is still imported today to produce Moroccan Mint tea.
Several different Green tea varietals are used to produce Gunpowder, including Ti Kwan Yin and Jasmine Green. But the original and most common is called Pingshui Gunpowder and is characterized by larger pearls, a more vibrant color, and a particularly aromatic infusion.
Tasting Notes: This organic Chinese Green tea is sweet and silky with subtle notes of roasted chestnut and wildflower honey, an overall smoky flavor, and a minty aftertaste.
Perfect Brew: Brew at 170-185°F for 2-3 minutes to achieve the perfect balance of earthy and sweet. You can reduce the steeping time to bring out its grassy notes, or increase it for a more floral and peppery brew.