Country of Origin: China
Region: Zhejiang Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Pinhead Gunpowder
Altitude: 1000 - 2000 ft. above sea level
Manufacture Type: Steamed green tea
Cup Characteristics: A green tea with surprising body and captivating almost nutty green tea taste.
Infusion: Medium green with golden notes
Ingredients: Premium green tea
Legend has it that the name Gunpowder was given by a young English clerk
who thought the tiny rolled green balls looked like gunpowder. The
tealeaves are specially selected for quality, size and style. They are
then rolled into very small tight nuggets. Gunpowder tea keeps a lot
longer than other green teas and is favored because of this
characteristic. Chinese exporters recommend gunpowder for iced tea
flavored with lemon and sugar. Gunpowder tea is also very popular in
Morocco where the leaves are boiled and mint and sugar are added.
Pinhead Gunpowder Pingshui tea comes from the province of Zhejiang
across Hangzhou Bay from Shanghai. It was in Hangzhou that Mao Tse Tung
(China’s first leader on modern times) first met with Richard Nixon
(President of the United States). This 1973 meeting, which included
gunpowder tea, was the beginning of normalized relations between China
and the United States.
The leaves for Pinhead Gunpowder are only plucked during April and May
when the quality of the green leaf is at it’s highest. The leaves are
steamed and tightly rolled in a time-honored process. When preparing
this tea, part of the ritual is to take two pinches of Pinhead Gunpowder
and drop them into a porcelain cup so you hear the jingle and tinkle of
the leaves hitting the sides. Boiling water causes them to open up like
flowers and sink slowly to the bottom in graceful patterns, which add a
dimension of visual pleasure to tea drinking. This gunpowder produces a
reasonably strong dark-green brew with a memorable fragrance, a
slightly bitter but not unpleasant flavor and a long lasting finish.
Gunpowder is more dense than other teas so if you are making a teapot
full you only require one or two teaspoons for a teapot.
Chinese researchers have found that gunpowder tea is high in fluoride
and known to reduce cavities. They say that a human body requires 1-2
milligrams of fluoride a day. Ten grams of gunpowder tea (enough to make
3 cups of strong tea) can supply this amount.
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used
repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about
180’F or 80’C. Place about 1/2 a teaspoon in your cup, let the tea steep
for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do
not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low - add
more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is
exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do
they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting
themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.