Gunpowder Green Tea: The Smoky Chinese Tea That Unfurls When Brewing

Gunpowder tea, or pearl tea, is a type of loose leaf tea where the leaves are rolled into tight balls. The tiny pellets look similar in appearance to small gunpowder pellets, hence the name. Most types of tea can be made into gunpowder tea including oolong tea, black tea, white tea, and pu-erh tea as well as herbal tisanes such as Moroccan mint tea and jasmine tea. Learn more about gunpowder green tea with this brief guide.

What Is Gunpowder Green Tea?

Gunpowder green tea is a green tea that comes in pellet form. Since it's a green tea, the tea leaves are harvested from the true tea plant known as Camellia sinensis. The leaves are withered and dried to prevent oxidation. In China, the green tea leaves are dried by pan or oven roasting while Japanese green teas are steam-dried. 

China produces the vast majority of gunpowder green tea — mainly in Zhejiang Province — though Japan does make one distinct variety. Known as Tama Guricha, it is produced in the Saga Prefecture of Japan. It's also called Tamaryokucha and offers a sweet aroma and rich, creamy flavor.

gunpowder green tea and matcha tea

Flavor Profile of Gunpowder Green Tea

Gunpowder green tea is more flavorful than other green teas and maintains its robust taste for longer than other loose teas. That's because the tightly rolled pinhead pellets seal in fragrance and flavor by minimizing contact of the leaf surface with the air. 

This green tea is also characterized by a smoky flavor that is enhanced through the pan-fired drying process. The smokiness permeates the air as the tea leaves gently unfurl and infuse in hot water. This green tea also contains a higher caffeine content compared to other green teas, though it is still less caffeinated than matcha green tea.

How to Brew Gunpowder Green Tea

  1. Preheat your teapot and teacup. Fill them with hot water, swirl the water around, and then discard the hot water in the sink.
  2. Scoop one teaspoon of Cup & Leaf Gunpowder Green Tea into a tea strainer.
  3. Heat water to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and pour into a teacup or teapot.
  4. Place the tea strainer with the tea leaves in the hot water. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes. The longer the steeping time, the stronger the flavors.
  5. Remove the strainer and enjoy!

Enjoy Fuller Flavor With Gunpowder Green Tea

Add this smoky Chinese green tea to your wishlist and see why it's one of our favorite teas. The gunpowder tea leaves are also packed with health benefits thanks to the high concentration of antioxidants and minerals, making it a delicious and healthy beverage choice. For the best flavor, look for high-quality tea from reputable companies and stick to organic or Fair Trade products. See what all the hype is about and brew some gunpowder green tea in your favorite teacup.

October 02, 2020 — Sencha Tea Bar
Tags: Green Tea