Thursday, July 03, 2008

FEATURED TEA OF THE WEEK: ELMWOOD INN'S GUNPOWDER GREEN



The name alone, Gunpowder Green, peaks ones interest. Don't you think? I have a somewhat turbulent relationship with green teas...I must admit, it has taken some time for me to come around to drinking them on a fairly regular basis. Black tea to me is the essence of what good tea is all about and I might add that I am still firmly in the "Black Tea Is Best Camp" My dear ex-pat friend at Steamed Sponge will no doubt agree with that position:-). Not all too many years ago, when green tea really started to make a name for itself, I will be the first to admit that I turned my nose up at the mere mention of it. Then I discovered Elmwood Inn's Gunpowder Green (see the link to Elmwood under the links portion of this page). Up until trying this blend, I found green teas weak and unimpressive. However, Gunpowder Green was different. It was a darker tea with a definite earthy/oak flavor and had a much more pleasant aftertaste to my palette. The history of the tea is quite interesting as well:

Gunpowder tea production dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618–907) but it was first introduced to Taiwan in the 1800s. 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 tea leaves into gunpowder tea renders the leaves less susceptible to physical damage and allows them to retain more of their flavor and aroma. In addition, it allows certain types of oolong teas to be aged for decades if they are cared for by being occasionally roasted.When buying gunpowder tea it is important to look for shiny pellets, which indicate that the tea is relatively fresh.From Wikipedia

Another wonderful description of the tea has been provided by The English Tea Store . Please look for the link on the sidebar where you may purchase the tea:

Legend has it that the name Gunpowder was given by an young English clerk who thought the tiny rolled green balls looked like gunpowder. The tea leaves are specially selected for quality, size and style. They are then rolled into very small tight nuggets. Gunpowder tea keeps a lot longer than other green teas and is favored because of this characteristic. Chinese exporters recommend gunpowder for iced tea flavored with lemon and sugar. Gunpowder tea is also very popular in Morocco where the leaves are boiled and mint and sugar are added.

Gunpowder is more dense than other teas so if you are making a teapot full you only require one or two teaspoons for a teapot.
Chinese researchers have found that gunpowder tea is high in fluoride and known to reduce cavities. They say that a human body requires 1-2 milligrams of fluoride a day. Ten grams of gunpowder tea (enough to make 3 cups of strong tea) can supply this amount.

7 comments:

Betsy said...

I've never heard of this! I must try it for my husband who really likes green tea! :)

willow said...

This sounds like a green tea I might like. I'm with you as far as green tea goes. Intriguing about the gunpowder origin. My first thought was that it must be some powerful tea! :)

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Something new. Like Betsy I have never heard of this. But it does sound intriguing, and the name lends a touch of the OK Corral to the proceedings, wot!?

It took me a while to get accustomed to green tea too, I must admit. I stuck with it because of the amazing health benefits I had heard of, and now, I rather enjoy it...but its an acquired taste, to be sure.

Chamomile tea is still the most popular at our house, but when I'm out and about I like to try unique and exotic teas.

It's an endlessly fascinating topic. I'll check out your link and see if this is available in Canada, won't that amuse my co-workers when I tell them "don't mess with me, I'm drinking gunpowder!"

Thanks, Rebecca, you are a fount of tea knowledge...

david mcmahon said...

I like the aroma of blended teas - but I never drink 'em.

I went to school in Darjeeling - which is why I only drink`normal' tea!

Rebecca said...

Betsy, Willow, and Lavinia: I would imagine the most green tea lovers would be blown away by Gunpoweder Green( tee...hee...I couldn't resist that pun!)...I was so pleasantly surprised with this tea...

Rebecca said...

David,

Welcome back! I wondered if you would make it over here for this post...I remembered that you lived in Darjeeling...That will be a fun tea to blog about:-)...

Rebecca said...

Gee, what was with my spelling? Of course I meant to write, "that most green tea drinkers", and "Gunpowder"...:-/