Chinese Gunpowder

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Chinese Gunpowder
Brand:Infuze
Style:Gunpowder Green Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Region:China
Loose/teabag:Loose

This tea's info last updated: Feb. 18, 2016

Commercial Description

Named for its gunpowder-like appearance, this green tea is known for its strong, smoky flavor and uniquely dark leaves. The full leaves are carefully selected for their quality and size, then rolled into small nuggets; allowing the tea to keep longer than other strains.

Ratings & Reviews

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Reviewer pic57 Aroma: 6/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 2/5
(1402 reviews) on

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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