Superior Gunpowder Green Tea

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Green Tea
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3 g 10 oz / 295 ml

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  • “I’m not going to rate this one, because brewing it turned into such a fiasco. :) So first I over-cooled the water, it was down around 65C when I checked the temp in my mug. I let it steep for 2min,...” Read full tasting note

From Metropolitan Tea Company

Country of Origin: China
Region: Zhejiang Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Superior #1
Altitude: 1500 – 3000 feet above sea level
Manufacturer Type: Pan fired and hand twisted
Cup Characteristics: Surprising body and captivating green tea taste with a hint of oakiness
Infusions: Tending dark green
Ingredients: Green tea

Gunpowder, the substance used to fire bullets out of a gun-barrel is one of the four great inventions of ancient China. (The other three are the compass, paper, and an Asian version of the printing press). Gunpowder tea, the substance used to keep your eyes open and your taste-buds hopping is one of the great inventions of Zhejinag province in Eastern China.

Gunpowder teas are primarily produced in the town of Pingshui in the mountainous Guiji region of the province. The technique for their production has remained virtually unchanged since the Tang dynasty (AD 618-907) – and what a production it is. After plucking, each individual leaf is rubbed and twisted by hand then dried by stir-frying in a large pan. Depending on the quality of the leaf, ambient humidity and temperature, up to 4 rounds of stir-fry drying may be required. Although in recent years this process has been sped up somewhat through the limited use of mechanical equipment, the necessity of hand-rolling the tea into its signature shape is still incredibly labor intensive. In fact, it is so labor intensive that tea workers have developed many euphemisms to describe the intensity of the process. For example: “It takes 1 kilogram of sweat trickling down the heels to produce 1 kilogram of tea.” Or: “The tea of one season will make one thin and meager because of the work required.” Luckily for the workers, they are all well fed and properly looked after on the job! (We know this because we visit the factories frequently to ensure working conditions meet acceptable international standards.)

The end result of all this work is a fabulous cup that has long been prized by Chinese and Westerners alike. In fact, Zhejiang Gunpowders were at one time the second most expensive teas on the London markets and continue to be popular the world over to this day. The tea is prized for its robust fresh character that is underscored by subtle touches of oak. (Incidentally, Gunpowder tea is the base of many Moroccan mint teas because of its rich character.) When selecting Gunpowders, traders look for tea that has been tightly rolled and has a slightly waxy appearance indicative of freshness. The Superior grade we are offering here is a superb example of these qualities. Open the bag and you will find a tightly rolled, uniformly sized tea with an aroma that will have you reaching for a teapot immediately. Enjoy Superior Gunpowder today and experience one of Zhejiang’s finest offerings.

About Metropolitan Tea Company View company

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1 Tasting Note

350 tasting notes

I’m not going to rate this one, because brewing it turned into such a fiasco. :) So first I over-cooled the water, it was down around 65C when I checked the temp in my mug. I let it steep for 2min, and it was weak. So then I let it steep for another 1min, and it was still weak. Then I put the tea basket back in the mug and promptly forgot about it for… I don’t even know how long. By the time I remembered, it was no longer too weak! But it was fairly bitter. It actually wasn’t undrinkable, but not particularly enjoyable. I decided to take the leaves for another steep, and for this one I added a little less than 1tsp of peppermint leaves to the basket, and steeped with water just off the boil, but for only 1 minute. After that I stirred in some sugar for the true Morroccan tea experience (in my kitchen, lol). Pretty good! But I think I’m mostly tasting the mint. :p

3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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