Tea: Chinese Gunpowder

A Gunpowder Green Tea from Infuze

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Chinese Gunpowder
Style:Gunpowder Green Tea
# Ratings:1 View All

Review of Chinese Gunpowder

6 of 103 of 52 of 557 of 100

I like gunpowder tea a lot, but I find it is often a low-quality tea, often harsh and lacking complexity. This was a higher-quality example, although it still wasn't among my favorite of Chinese green teas in this price range. I found it hard to brew to satisfaction, but very good when I did.

The dry leaf of this tea has a potent fruity aroma that is rather unusual for this type of tea, and which I think may be a sign of a higher-than-average quality. It is also only lightly smoky (some gunpowder is almost overwhelmingly so).

Unfortunately, when brewing, I found it tricky to draw out this fruitiness. The cup is lightly smoky, and has a relatively smooth flavor...somewhat brisk but without any harsh bitterness or sourness. There is, however, too much astringency for my tastes.

I experimented with brewing and I found that I got the best results when using a longish (30-60 sec.) rinse (discard the first cup) with luke-warm water, followed by a single long steeping with about 185 degree water. This seemed to take away much of the astringency, and left a cup that had a smoother flavor and mouthfeel, with a pleasantly herbaceous and vegetal aroma. Brewed this way it reminded me a lot of greener oolongs.

This tea didn't seem as picky about brewing temperature as some gunpowders--it doesn't become quite as harsh or bitter if the water is too hot, although I still recommend watching to not get the water super hot.

I thought this tea was expensive for its quality. Although this was definitely way ahead of the cheapy boxes of Temple of Heaven gunpowder that you can get in Chinatown for a couple dollars, I'm not sure it's that much better to justify the much higher price. At $14 for 4oz, there are a wide range of Chinese green teas that I'd prefer to this one, especially in similar styles, like chun mee.

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