Gunpowder tea is one of my favorite Chinese green teas – I wanted to try a sample of this even though I have a big bag of Red Blossom’s gunpowder at home. I am curious as to how big of a difference there is between gunpowder teas.
I might have steeped this too long – accidentally… the tea is mellow, assertive, earthy & pungent. It is vegetal in a savory way (think roasted brussels sprouts). There’s a bit of bitterness present but I think it could use a little less steeping time so chalk that up to a user error…
I think it’s interesting that in Harney’s description that almost all gunpowder is made for export. When I was in a Chinese tea shop recently they told me that “Gunpowder is not a Chinese green tea”, which I thought was kind of odd. I mean, clearly it is from there but perhaps he meant the Chinese just do not drink much of it?
Second steep I did for only about 60-90 seconds and I definitely like it better this way. The aroma is mildy smoky and the tea is still assertive and vegetal but it also has a bit of sweetness in the finish instead of bitterness so I think I got it right!
I might get this again if I needed more gunpowder tea but I really liked the lemony gunpowder from Harney! I also recommend reading the entry H&S did on this tea if you want to learn some more nifty facts about how gunpowder tea is made. :)