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Gunpowder tea is a form of Chinese green tea whereby each leaf has been rolled into a small round pellet. Its English name comes from its resemblance to shots of gunpowder.
Gunpowder tea production dates back to the Tang Dynasty 618–907. Gunpowder tea leaves are withered, steamed, rolled, and then dried. Although the individual leaves were formerly rolled by hand, today most gunpowder tea is rolled by machines (though the highest grades are still rolled by hand). Rolling renders the leaves less susceptible to physical damage and breakage and allows them to retain more of their flavour and aroma.
When buying gunpowder tea it is important to look for shiny pellets, which indicate that the tea is relatively fresh. Pellet size is also associated with quality, larger pellets being considered a mark of lower quality tea. High-quality gunpowder tea will have small, tightly rolled pellets.
Brew Proportions: 3g of tea or 1 teaspoon to 250 mls of water Brew Temperature: 80 C Infusion time: 3 minutes.