What tea comes with a bang you ask? Why it's Gunpowder green tea! But don't worry it won't explode or make loud noises and it doesn't contain any gunpowder. According to legend the tea got it's name from a young English clerk, who thought the tiny rolled balls of tea leaves looked like gunpowder! The tea leaves are specially selected for quality size and style, they are then rolled into small balls. This method of processing the tea means that Gunpowder tea will actually keep longer than other green teas and has become popular because of this characteristic!
Gunpowder green tea comes from Taiwan and the Zhejiang province of China; however, some believe that higher quality gunpowder green teas come from Taiwan as Taiwan's gunpowder quality improved significantly after 1949. The first tea bushes planted in Taiwan were planted around 300 years ago with bushes from the Fujian province of China. The bushes in Taiwan flush around five times per year between April and December. The best leaves are picked from the end of May to around mid-August.
Interestingly, before the 1900's gunpowder green tea comprised around 60% of America's total tea imports, today that figure is less than 1%.
This tea is a wonderful experience for the senses and not just smell and taste. Try brewing the tea loose, with boiling water, in a cup, bowl or teapot that you can see into and watch as the leaves open up and almost "bloom" like a flower would and float gracefully to the bottom.
Our Formosa Gunpowder Green Tea is an excellent gunpowder variety and has a surprising and strong body but still has that familiar fresh and captivating green tea flavour.