Gunpowder Tea – A Popular Chinese Green Tea


Gunpowder tea is a Chinese tea made in Zhejiang Provence, China. It’s a form of green tea made out of withered, steamed, rolled and dried leaves. The name of gunpowder tea was given due to the fact that the small leaves which are tightly rolled into small round pellets, look like gunpowder.

Gunpowder tea, like most green teas, comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant, which is a small leaved bush with many stems that can reach to almost 3 meters.

There are many types of gunpowder tea, judging by the type of the leaves:

  • Pingshui gunpowder which is the most common type, has larger pellets and a more powerful flavor. It is sold as Temple of Heaven Gunpowder.
  • Formosa Gunpowder which is grown in Taiwan. Its fragrance is very close to the Taiwanese oolong tea.
  • Ceylon Gunpowder is produced at high altitudes in Sri Lanka.

Brewing Gunpowder Tea

There are many ways to brew gunpowder tea, but the most handy and common preparation is by putting 1 tablespoon of gunpowder leaves for every 5 ounces of water. The gunpowder must be steeped up to 1-2 minutes into water, boiled at 160 degrees. After that, it can be streamed and served.

It is not recommended to put milk or sweeteners in it such as honey or sugar, since the tea already has a soft honey flavor.

What does Gunpowder Tea contain?

Gunpowder tea, since it is classified as a green tea, it shares all of the components of classic green tea, mainly antioxidant ingredients such as green tea catechins (GTC).

The importance of antioxidants is very high since they find and eliminate disease-causing free radicals that can develop cancer or even damage the DNA structure.

Benefits of Gunpowder Tea

Because antioxidants fight free-radicals, the gunpowder tea helps maintaining your general health.

  • It helps fight cancer due to the fact that antioxidants neutralize and reduce the damage that free radicals can cause to cells.
  • Prevents type II diabetes due to the fact that green tea may improve insulin sensibility and glucose tolerance.
  • It can also be used for treating loose digestion or indigestion. The antioxidants help reduce inflammations that are associated with ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease.
  • Heals wounds and controls bleeding because of the strong fluoride content.
  • Slows aging process.

Gunpowder Tea side effects

The general side effects that gunpowder tea can have are the same as the ones normal green tea present, such as nausea or stomach ache. Since it has caffeine,gunpowder tea can cause insomnia, nervousness or irritability, so avoid drinking it in the evening or before bed.

Also it can cause iron deficiency, which is why people who take iron supplements are strongly advised not to drink any type of green tea, or to drink it at least 2 hours before taking the supplements or 4 hours after taking them.

All in all, gunpowder tea has more benefits for your health than side effects.  It is good to drinkgunpowder tea, because it helps your immune system and provides you with all the vitamins you need in order to stay healthy.

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