If your tea party friends are looking for the freshest, most flavorful tea around, it’s time to introduce them to gunpowder green tea.
Gunpowder green tea comes from the Guangdong
and Zhejiang provinces of China.
As you can most likely tell from its name, it is a tea that is made from leaves that are hand or machine-rolled into small pellets. Because of this, it tends to look similar to actual gunpowder! There is an interesting legend about gunpowder green tea that you can share with those interested in purchasing the product.
As legend has it, the name gunpowder was given to the tea by an Englishman who thought that the small balls of the tea leaves, when rolled up, looked like gunpowder. In China, native residents refer to this type of tea as Siaou Chu, which means “large leaf”. Gunpowder green tea is also referred to as “pearl tea” or “bead tea” in China.
Gunpowder green tea is harvested in the month of April, as this is the absolute best time of the year for the quality of its leaves. During the process in which gunpowder green tea is made, the leaves are harvested and rolled up.
When the gunpowder green tea leaf is rolled up, the juices come out. These highly flavored juices would otherwise stay inside the leaf. The same holds true for the water inside the leaf – it is forced out, and this therefore reduces the moisture content of the leaf. The tea pellet actually keeps it shape and freshness better than tea that is not manufactured in the same way.
Studies have shown that people drink as much tea daily as they do water. Green tea, such as gunpowder green tea has a variety of positive health benefits. First of all, it contains no calories, fat, or carbohydrates. Secondly, it is a natural source of vitamins and mineral nutrients that have been scientifically proven to aid growth, digestion and sense of well-being.
Studies also point to the fact that gunpowder green tea is extremely rich in dietary antioxidant flavonoids. In fact, it may be even better for you than fruits and vegetables! The antioxidant flavonoids found in the tea actually protect cells as well as the immune system. Scientists agree that drinking green tea may even slow down the aging process and, in turn, helps people to live longer life spans.
Gunpowder green tea production first began during the Tang Dynasty, during the years 618 to 907. It was later brought to Taiwan in the 1800’s, and then on to North Africa, where it was used in preparation of traditional North African mint tea. Moroccans used it for their social gatherings. Today, most gunpowder green tea is machine rolled. However, the highest quality gunpowder green teas are rolled by hand. You can determine the freshness of the pellets of tea by how shiny they are. Very fresh gunpowder green tea will have a bright shine to it.
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