Gunpowder tea (珠茶; zhūchá) - A Green Tea from China
Gunpowder tea (珠茶; zhūchá) is a type of green tea that comes from China. The Chinese name means “pearl tea”. It is produced in Zhejiang Province, although “gunpowder” describes the shape but not the color, and there are varieties of oolong tea that are grown in Taiwan and Sri Lanka and are also referred to as gunpowder tea. The leaves are rolled into round pellets that resemble grains of gunpowder, and the smaller the size of the pellets, the better the quality. Traditionally, individual leaves were rolled by hand, and this is still done today for the best varieties, although most gunpowder tea is rolled by machines. Due to the compressed form, Gunpowder tea stays fresh longer than other varieties. Having a shiny appearance means that the tea is fresher. The flavor is described as bold, with a slightly smoky or oak note. When brewed, the tea pellets slowly unfurl like flowers as they absorb the hot water.