Temple of Heaven Gunpowder

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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30 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Tasting note no. *666*. Cue Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEllLECo4OM (The spooky Omen music starts at about 1:48 but you can knock yourself out and listen to the...” Read full tasting note
    77
    __Morgana__ 953 tasting notes
  • “I've had the rest of this sample just sitting around and dangit! I need to get rid of some of my drips and drabs again (still). So off we go! Second verse, pretty much same as the first. I...” Read full tasting note
    43
    aug3zimm 911 tasting notes
  • “So this is my first gunpowder tea experience, I have to say, I'm not all that impressed. Right from the get-go, the smell of the leaves, I smelled a strong almost burnt green smell, it reminded me...” Read full tasting note
    43
    cinoi1551 243 tasting notes
  • “This one really looks and smells great. Kinda sad to see the ratings it got before me. But I yet have to try it. Maybe I'll like it more... I've used just a half of the sampler to make it. Color is...” Read full tasting note
    73
    malomorgen 224 tasting notes

From Golden Moon Tea

Our Temple of Heaven Gunpowder is slightly smoky on the palate with a lingering sweetness. We start with young and delicate leaves, which are then crafted into tiny pearls. As they steep, they gently open, producing a lovely golden-green cup.

The impeccable craftsmanship of these evenly rolled leaves is well beyond any gunpowder we have seen. Delicious and beneficial to health, this is a must for any green loose leaf tea lover.

About Golden Moon Tea View company

Golden Moon is dedicated to offering outstanding, whole-leaf teas of the greatest quality and finesse. All Golden Moon Teas are hand-plucked and meticulously crafted to enhance leaf character, aroma, color, clarity, body, complexity, and above all, flavor.

30 Tasting Notes

77
953 tasting notes

Tasting note no. 666. Cue Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEllLECo4OM

(The spooky Omen music starts at about 1:48 but you can knock yourself out and listen to the whole thing if you have an hour LOL.)

I had nothing with devil, diablo, diable, satan, lucifer, or such in the name so I decided to go the opposite direction, literally up rather than down. Hence the Temple of Heaven.

After I sampled this in my 31 flavor Golden Moon sampler I gave it a rating of 73 and added it to my order. It’s weird, though. Now I don’t think I’d order something unless I gave it a 75 or higher, and I’d probably only order a few teas ranked in the 70s as there are so many I’ve given more than 80 to.

But that’s easily solved on this one by bumping the rating a few points. I don’t have a lot to compare it to in the gunpowder sphere, but as a green tea, it’s a nice change from the lighter, more vegetal green teas I’ve been having lately. The smokiness, though light by Lapsang and even Keemun standards, is quite enjoyable on a rainy February evening.

I may regret drinking this at 9 p.m., but I was up against the 666 number and I didn’t see this as a first thing in the morning tea. Heh.

Night night all.

TheTeaFairy

Hahaha! Love the evil dramatic music reference…I have it in my ipod, I do put it on sometimes and my dog starts howling like a wolf, so funny! Miss the omen, I love the darkness, mwahahaha!

pyarkaaloo

hahahah on Carmina Burana ;p O Fortuna!

caile

Hahaha! Was waiting for this one, and that’s perfect! ;-)

Kamyria

ha ha ha…. awesome note with a dramatic note! :D

__Morgana__

Heh. It was fun to mix it up a bit. Glad you liked it. :-)

Cavocorax

LOL. This was great. I’m listening to it at work and it’s making my mundane office stuff far more dramatic! :D

mpierce87

Omg, I’m listening to this and it is tripping me out how dramatic my cats’ antics are with this playing. Love it!

__Morgana__

Love how the cats and dogs react to this—LOL!

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43
911 tasting notes

I’ve had the rest of this sample just sitting around and dangit! I need to get rid of some of my drips and drabs again (still). So off we go!

Second verse, pretty much same as the first. I kind of love Adagio’s Gunpowder but haven’t really found another one I’d consider buying in large(ish) quantity. This one is definitely smokier than Adagios. It’s making me think of wet cigarette ash. It’s a bit unpleasant at the beginning but I’m getting used to it. But yeah, not for me. I’m actually dropping the rating a bit because I’ve had a squidge more experience with Gunpowders now. Go me.
3.5g/8oz

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
mattscinto

um.. wet cigarette ash.. yeah that explains the rating. lol

teaplz

I’m super-happy you really liked Adagio’s Gunpowder, as it was a winner for me! This one, to me, tasted like a cross between Jade Fire and Adagio’s Gunpowder.

Auggy

I think I would have been okay with it if it had reminded me of Jade Fire. I can deal with mineral-y better than this wet ash thing. But yeah, Adagio wins on the Gunpowder thing for sure!

mattscinto

I just recieved 6oz of Adagio’s Gunpowder.. I think this stuff will last me an eternity

Auggy

6oz? Wow! I’m finding that I’m hesitant to buy anything more than 2oz of a tea at a time, but that’s because I seem to have SO MUCH TEA! (It’s just an illusion, though. Really.)

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43
243 tasting notes

So this is my first gunpowder tea experience, I have to say, I’m not all that impressed. Right from the get-go, the smell of the leaves, I smelled a strong almost burnt green smell, it reminded me of bitter and earthy green tea, uh-oh.

I brewed the sample hot, 2.5 minutes, no additives. The smell of the tea is very green: vegetal, earthy, rough, a heavy smell that tells you the mouth feel will not be smooth or short. I usually like green tea, furthermore, I usually like overinfused and bitter green, but this is a different beast altogether. The taste of this tea starts as green, very bitter green, but there is an unpleasant smoky-ness to it, not like Lapsang Souchong, like unintentionally burned tea, followed by more bitter and finished with a strangely misplaced hit of sweetness. Surprisingly, there is no aftertaste.

So, bitter, burnt, bitter, sweet, nothing.

There are probably ways to fix this, adding sugar or messing with infusion times. Since my sample is out, I will have to try something else.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec
JacquelineM

Oh dear – I may skip this one!!!

Cinoi

Oh, I don’t want to put you off to it, prove me wrong! I wish I knew how to make it better and try it…

Ricky

That sounds about right, about gunpowder I mean.

Cinoi

oh, ok :/

Ricky

But! You should definitely try other ones. I mean I thought Dragonwell was salty… but then there was a sweet one. I think I remember this one being lighter, but gunpowder is supposedly “smokey.”

Cinoi

I just was not expecting the smoke, maybe if I had a better range of comparison, any recommendations?

Ricky

Adagio’s Gunpowder is pretty decent and flavorful. Other than that I haven’t really had any other gunpowder aside from various Asian brands.

Cinoi

Thanks Ricky! I’ll give that one a shot on my next Adagio order

JacquelineM

It’s the “ashtray” smokey that turns me off (as opposed to the smoky of Jackee Muntz which is more peaty/woodfire). I will give it a try for “science” :)

Cinoi

Haha, I hear you, I too enjoy the woodsy campfirey smoky tea, not the burnt smoky

Auggy

I second Ricky’s Adagio Gunpowder suggestion. This one tasted a bit like wet cigarette to me but Adagio’s version has a nice vegetal sweetness along with a slight almost toasted taste that’s really nice.

mattscinto

Adagio for life

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73
224 tasting notes

This one really looks and smells great. Kinda sad to see the ratings it got before me. But I yet have to try it. Maybe I’ll like it more…
I’ve used just a half of the sampler to make it.
Color is deep yellow. Smells interesting. Bit different than most green teas. Idk how to describe that difference tho :)
I actually quite like the aftertaste. It’s delicious, smoky and full. But the first feel is more watery and slightly acid or something like that. I like the contrast of the first taste and aftertaste. It’s not bitter at all.
It’s different. I like it. Quite a lot.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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54
431 tasting notes

I found this VERY smokey to the edge of burnt it was weird but I gave it a little higher rating then I would because as I was sipping it did start to grow on me a bit. Still I won’t buy it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Adham

Gosh, and you actually went all the way to 3 minutes with it – cast-iron tongue!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

If hind sight were only 20/20 or heck even 20/25. LOL :-)

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Oh and as it cools it tastes even more burnt. Weird stuff!

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33
237 tasting notes

A faint smoky smell greets me on opening the packet; the dark olive green pearls also have a slightly acrid scent. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a gunpowder, so I’m not too sure what to expect. I’ll do two and a half minutes at 180, as I’m thinking this will be strong enough for my taste.

Whew! Sure is. There’s smoke there, but it’s also really astringent already. The liquor is a somewhat cloudy green-tinged brown. The scent of the liquid is lightly smokey, with green tea pushed to the background. Bitterness too – something I’m not usually turned off about, if it’s in moderation. However this bitterness feels somehow much more penetrating than usual, and lingers at the back of the throat. Maybe I just steeped it too long, though it was right in the middle of their 2-3 minute guideline. Ooof! Don’t think I’ll be able to finish this cup, though I think I’d try it again steeped for maybe half the time to see if it made a difference.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Think I may open this sample today and then we can compare notes.

Adham

Great – looking forward to hearing what you think…

Rabs

Oh, I am so having bad tea flashbacks. I really disliked this tea. ::shudders::

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55
158 tasting notes

I don’t have too much experience with gunpowder tea. The Adagio version that I tried dried my mouth out rather unpleasantly, and I’ve been more interested by dabbling in blacks, oolongs and whites than I have been in really exploring greens.

This brewed up to a yellow color I didn’t expect. Not quite dark enough to be considered amber, but too yellow in the cup to be properly called green, either, and very slightly cloudy (in my office where the lighting is less direct and bright, it’s hard to see).

It’s slightly less astringent and drying than the gunpowder from Adagio, but significantly more mild in every other way, too. The smoke flavor is lessened, and the green seems just as shy; there are no overt grassy or vegetal notes. They say that there’s a ‘lingering sweetness’ to the tea, but I’m not really getting that. I am getting a strange salty flavor that might be ‘sweet’ where ‘sweet’ crosses over with ‘smoke’, but then again that could be some indication that 3 minutes was longer than I needed to have steeped this tea.

I’m finding I’m not an enormous fan of the smell of it, either. Again, that could be because I brewed it (accidentally) toward the outside of the recommended brewing time, so potentially a matter of my preferences versus the tea. Alas, I will not likely find out for certain either way, as my sample of this was consumed by this cup (and the hideousness of my experience attempting to steep the other gunpowder I have a second time — producing that ashy taste, gross — will prohibit me from attempting the same thing here).

Not horrid, but not on my list to buy. Inoffensive, but unexciting (and slightly unappetizing due to the salty note). I know there are better greens out there.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec
teaplz

Greens are definitely the teas that I’m having the most problems with sometimes as well. I find that I’m less interested in them, too! Japanese greens seem to be an acquired taste for me. I enjoy them, but only up to a certain point. Although ryokucha was pretty amazing, now that I’m thinking of it…I find myself getting phantom cravings for it sometimes. Weird.

S

Ah phantom cravings. I hate how I always seem to crave teas I don’t have in my possession, but once I restock them I lose my cravings for them!

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56
255 tasting notes

Golden Moon Tea Sample # 15 or thereabouts, selected at random

I was not surprised to see that other people have not had a fantastic experience with this tea. I thought the aroma of the dry buds, or pearls, was faint. The tea itself was virtually tasteless! I did a second brewing paying excruciatingly careful attention to time and temperature and amount of water, but again came up rather empty. I don’t know if the sample size is too small to match 4 ounces of water or if my tongue, spoiled by the strength of Lapsang Souchongs is just not willing to accept too much subtlety.

I would not buy this but I would try it again.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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62
382 tasting notes

Golden Moon Sampler Tea #13:
Today’s blind grab got me this, and I decided since it was a green, or at least more green than black, to make use of the Vaguely Asian™ teacup that came with the lid I bought for my teapot. The other option for making use of this cup is to figure out how to make chawan mushi, or Japanese savory egg custard served in teacup-sized portions, but that would A. involve finding fish paste somewhere and B. involve learning how to steam things. Thus, tea it is!

I’m glad that I decided to use the cup because it let me see the lovely golden color of the tea. Regardless of anything else, it is quite pretty. I admit to never having gunpowder before (or at least not consciously) so I have no idea how it’s supposed to taste. I guess the name is kind of a clue? I didn’t really get much (or any) kind of a smokiness from it, maybe the tiniest undertone but it tends to be subsumed by the general grassiness of the tea itself, finishing off on a decidedly sweet green note. The more I drink of it, though, the more of the smokiness I’m noticing, undoubtedly due to the fact that I am growing used to the other aspects of the flavor, but it remains noticeable only in the periphery of the sip.

Having spent the majority of my time drinking this in search of that elusive smokiness, I confess that I am not really sure whether or not I like this. Certainly it’s quite sippable, but is it a thing I want to sip on a daily basis? Is this another one of those teas that’s too subtle for me? And should it, as a gunpowder, even be subtle? Perhaps I should get a sample of the Adagio gunpowder, since some of the other reviews indicate that it is more straightforward.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec
~lauren.

Still trying to picture a Vaguely Asian teacup in my mind – not succeeding, though!

Ewa

Random Chinese characters, stylized lotus flowers interconnected with vines, what looks like random I Ching hexagrams (also stylized) in the center of each lotus flower…Vaguely Asian!

~lauren.

Got it, Vaguely Asian!!! LOL!

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1
357 tasting notes

Oh gunpowder: you evil love-child of green and black tea! Okay, maybe not, but it sure tasted like it. I shall keep my mind open to future gunpowders, but am I ever happy that this was a small sample.

So, the scent of the packet (I forgot to smell the leaves before steeping them) was a really light and pleasant smell that I couldn’t put my finger on – just a hint of smokiness. I sniffed the tea after steepage and it reminded me of the food I gave my pet Hammy the Hamster back in my elementary school years. ::shudders:: And once that scent-association happened it was all an uphill battle for this tea to become likable for me.

I thought that I had oversteeped the first cup – I tossed it out halfway through and tried again. Steep two – I made it four sips and tossed it. My face actually resembled the “yucky face” on the rating scale on my final sip. I mean, I didn’t even toss out any of my lowest rated teas until I’d had at least one cup. Therefore, even though there are probably some very redeemable qualities to this tea, it’s recieving my first 1 (because I made that EXACT face). GA

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
~lauren.

Rabs, a 1 !!!! I’ve not seen many 1 ’s but when I do encounter one, something contrary in me kicks in and I want to try it. Strange but true. A 1 – it must be awful! LOL!

~lauren.

and that EXACT face on the ratings scale? TOO FUNNY!

Rabs

LOL – I’m the same way about being tempted to try the “ick” teas! And yes – my eyes squinted whilst my tongue stuck out. Granted, my tongue might have been a bit more askew – but that was it. I bet that you could find more redeeming qualities and I almost gave it a 7. However, that facial spasm of disguist made me think: well, when would be a better time to give a tea the proverbial bird?

__Morgana__

Hamster food. Hahaha. I hope this is in the sampler, I really want to smell it now.

Rabs

I got mine in the 31 tea sampler – I’ll be dying to hear what you have to say. And please y’all, I’m a very open-to-learning tea noob, so if any of you would like to edjucate me on how better to appreciate a gunpowder, then I’d love to know. But I just can’t imagine purchasing this specific one ever again.

__Morgana__

I haven’t done gunpowder yet except in bags, but you might try lower water temp and less steeping time. Start with 175 for a minute to a minute and a half and see if that makes it any better, if not try 45 seconds. Gunpowders seem a little stronger and more pungent than a lot of other greens to start with so less might be more.

Rabs

Pungent is the perfect word! I’ll definitely take your advice on the next Gunpowder that I try – I can imagine how much that might improve the taste. So most likely it’s not this poor tea’s fault for my low rating of it, but more of a user error. After I’ve tried another Gunpowder with the altered prep, and it proves to be more positive, then I might adjust this here rating.

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