Dragonwater Organic Gunpowder Green Tea is a very good example of a true, high-quality gunpowder tea. It has that distinctive, smooth flavor associated with gunpowder tea, and doesn’t contain any unpleasant bitterness.
If you’re not familiar with gunpowder tea, it’s a variety of green tea from the famous Chinese tea-producing area of Zhejiang, its name originating from the Mandarin Chinese gng paň de – which means freshly brewed, but which sounds just like the English gunpowder. The tea leaves are rolled extremely tightly, forming small pellets which resemble the gunpowder used for guns and cannons.
The reason for rolling them like this is not for aesthetic or decorative purposes: it’s actually a really good way of making the leaves more resistant to breaking and physical damage, which helps them to retain more of their natural aroma, flavors, and health-beneficient properties. It also helps to keep them fresh for longer than conventional rolling methods.
The gunpowder tea is made from hand-picked leaves, which are carefully rolled into pellets soon after picking. They are then dried to prevent any oxidization and packaged to be sold. The mark of a good, fresh gunpowder tea is in the shininess of the pellets the more glossy they are, the better the tea will taste.
It’s also a good sign if the pellets are small and tight rather than loose and large, as getting them rolled nice and tightly will ensure that more freshness is retained for longer. This is why it’s all done by hand, to achieve a higher quality and tighter roll than could be done by machine.
Dragonwater Organic Gunpowder Green Tea is completely handmade using very high grade, superior quality green tea leaves grown in Lung Ching that’s the famous Dragon Well village located near West Lake, where China’s best quality tea is produced.
The tea is pure that is to say, it contains just one ingredient, those carefully hand-rolled organic green tea leaves. A pure tea characteristically has a weak fragrance, and this one falls into that category no added flavors or aromas make for a mild scent with none of the overpowering grassy odors that can be given off by many green teas.
Likewise, the flavor is a perfect example of what a pure organic green gunpowder tea should taste like. It tastes subtle and light, and the infusion has a light green color. One of the delights of gunpowder tea is watching the unfurling of the leaves as they sink through the water their rapid expansion is likened to an explosion, as the gunpowder pellets enlarge and release their flavors.
The tea contains no trace of bitterness, which is the mark of a very good green tea. Do, of course, be careful when brewing the tea, as overstepping the leaves of any green tea will spoil the infusion, leading to the natural, subtle flavors being overshadowed or completely drowned out by unpleasant bitterness.
Brewed correctly, however, Dragonwater Organic Gunpowder Green Tea is perfect, and just what you’d expect from one of the finest high grade organic green teas from West Lake.