How to Make Gunpowder Green Tea Properly (Hot & Iced)

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One of the oldest teas in the world, you’ve probably tried gunpowder tea without even realizing it. This robust green tea is great hot or cold.

Hot Gunpowder Green Tea

Gunpowder Green Tea

  • Gunpowder green tea is one of the oldest teas in the world.
  • It’s a Chinese green tea.
  • Rolled into tightly formed beads, it’s also called pearl tea for its shape.
  • Gunpowder tea with younger tea leaves is more precious than the gunpowder made with older, larger leaves. 
  • There are two stories about how gunpowder tea got its name. Some say that it’s because the dark, pellet-like shape of the tea and the other story is that it comes from the Chinese phrase for freshly brewed, “gang pao de.”

Gunpowder tea BREWING GUIDE

TO MAKE HOT GUNPOWDER TEA
TEA:
1 teaspoon loose gunpowder tea or 1 tea sachet
WATER: 1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
175°F
STEEP TIME:
3 minutes

TO MAKE COLD BREW ICED GUNPOWDER TEA
TEA:
1 teaspoon loose gunpowder tea or 1 tea sachet
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
Cold water
STEEP TIME:
6 – 8 hours

What You’ll Need

TO MAKE HOT GUNPOWDER TEA

TO MAKE COLD BREW GUNPOWDER TEA

My Gunpowder Tea Pick:

Organic Gunpowder Tea

Photo Credit: Harney.com

A great, basic green tea. (Free shipping with no minimum!)
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How to Make Hot Gunpowder Green Tea

HOW TO MAKE HOT Gunpowder green tea PROPERLY

STEP 1: Boil water. 

Instead of just boiling tap water, go for filtered water. The tea only tastes as good as the water tastes. 

I always use an electric kettle with a temperature setting to boil water especially for green tea since water temperature makes a huge difference.

If you’re boiling water on the stovetop, turn off the heat as soon as it starts to simmer.

Boil some extra water to use for warming up the teapot.

STEP 2: Warm up teapot.

Pour some boiled water into the teapot. Swirl it around to warm up the sides, then throw the water out. 

TEA SOMMELIER’S TIP: To brew tea properly, always pre-warm the teapot since it helps keep the water temperature stable when the tea is brewing. 

STEP 3: Put gunpowder tea into teapot and add hot water. 

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 3 minutes.

Steeping it for longer may result in a bitter tea so keep an eye on the time. Keep the teapot covered so that the water stays hot.

STEP 5: Strain gunpowder green leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Cold Brew Gunpowder Green Tea

HOW TO MAKE ICED GUnpowder green tea PROPERLY

Cold brewed iced tea is the best kind of iced tea! It tastes so much better than iced tea made any other way.

STEP 1: Put gunpowder green tea and water in a pitcher or glass container.

Use cold or room temperature filtered water since there’s no need for hot water for cold brewing tea.

STEP 2: Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

STEP 3: Strain gunpowder green tea leaves and pour tea into a cup with ice.

Ice is optional with cold brew because it’s chilled already, so you can add it if you like but there’s no need.

I always use simple syrup when I want to sweeten cold brew since it incorporates the best. To make it at home, just mix equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

Gunpowder Green Tea Tips

  • Gunpowder tea has a longer shelf life than other green teas.
  • If you’re looking for a basic green tea, this is a great one.
  • Using water that’s too hot or steeping it for too long will definitely make this tea bitter.
  • If you want to freshen it up, this tea (hot and cold) tastes great with fresh mint leaves.

Questions You May Have

What does gunpowder green tea taste like?

This tea is distinctly bold with a slightly smoky flavor.

Is there caffeine?

Yes. Gunpowder green tea does contain caffeine.

Loose tea, tea sachets, or tea bags?

Loose gunpowder tea is always the best quality followed by tea sachets. Tea bags contain the lowest quality tea.

Is gunpowder green tea a real tea?

Gunpowder green tea is a real tea because it comes from the camellia sinensis plant. Only tea that comes from the camellia sinensis plant is real. This means herbal teas aren’t real teas.

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Cold Brew Ceylon Tea

Gunpowder Green Tea

Author: Jee Choe
Gunpowder green tea has a robust, full-bodied flavor that’s great hot or iced.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Steep Time 3 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Boil water.
    If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 175°F. Heat a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot. If boiling water on the stovetop, let it come to a simmer, then turn off heat. (Filtered water is best.)
  • Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into the teapot and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.
  • Put gunpowder tea into teapot and add hot water.
  • Cover teapot and steep for 3 minutes.
  • Strain gunpowder tea leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

NOTES

TO MAKE COLD BREW GUNPOWDER TEA
1. Put gunpowder loose tea and cool or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container. 
Use filtered water if possible for a better tasting tea.
2. Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
The best steep time is 6-8 hours.
3. Strain tea leaves and pour tea into a cup with ice.
Ice is optional since the tea is already cold.
Keyword cold brew green tea, green tea, hot green tea
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