Gunpowder Tea

June 10, 2008

When TeaFrog goes to craftshows, there is one tea in particular that always gets attention, and it is one of the most common kinds of green tea available. It is called Gunpowder Tea, and is named such due to it’s appearance.

Gunpowder Tea

Green tea leaves are rolled into tight pellets, reminiscent of gunpowder pellets, and thus the name Gunpowder Tea. This is a fairly recent name for this tea, as it has been produced as far back as 600AD, when gunpowder had not yet been invented. It was introduced in the 1800’s to Taiwan, and it is surmised that it gained the name Gunpowder Tea shortly thereafter.

 

Gunpowder Green Tea produces a clear golden liquor when brewed, and has a grassy, slightly nutty, full and rich flavor. It is often blended with peppermint leaves to produce a favorite middle eastern tea referred to as “Morroccan Mint”.

When preparing Gunpowder Tea, use slightly less that the usual green tea amount called for (1 tsp) as it expands to many times it’s rolled size. In fact, the tea expands so much, it almost looks like your Gunpowder Tea is “exploding”!

Overall this is a tasty green tea, and will brew to a nice iced tea as well as the traditional warm tea. Consume this tea any time of the day, and it goes well with just about any type of food. Be extra carefull not to over steep this tea, as it will very quickly get very bitter, ruining the flavor of the tea.

To order Gunpowder Tea and brewing accessories, visit the TeaFrog Gunpowder Tea page.


How to make Green Tea

April 8, 2008

Brew the Perfect Cup of Green TeaIt is surprising how many people give up on Green Tea after one bad experience.  While making Green Tea is not difficult in any way, at TeaFrog we have found that there is one overwhelming mistake that people make with brewing Green Tea, and that is water temperature.

Simply put, do not boil your water when making Green Tea.  If you pour the boiling water over the tea leaves, it will cook the leaves, releasing more tannins and making the tea bitter.  This is the number one reason why people give up on Green Tea!

The optimum temperature for Green Teas is between 80 to 90 degrees Celsius, or 140 – 185 degrees Fahrenheit.  At this temperature, the bulk of the tannins in the tea will not dissolve, leaving you with the natural sweetness of the leaf, and the pure flavor of the tea.  If you happen to boil your water, just give it a few minutes to cool before you infuse your leaves in it.

Another tip when preparing your tea is to ensure that the leaves have enough room to expand fully.  Japanese Green Tea in particular is generally tightly rolled, and as such needs plenty of room to allow the water to get into the inside of the leaf.  You can place the leaves directly in the water, or better yet, use an infuser that allows the tea to expand fully, such as the Finum Brewing Basket.

Step by Step Instructions for Brewing Green Tea.

  1. Heat water in a kettle or pot to a temperature of 80° to 90° C, or between 140° – 185° F.
  2. Place 1 teaspoon of tea into an infusing device that has enough room for the leaves to expand.
  3. Pour your water over the tea leaves.
  4. Allow the tea 2-3 minutes to infuse.
  5. Remove your tea leaves, and enjoy your cup of Green Tea for the first time!

Green Tea Brewing Tips

– you can infuse green tea many times.  Some teas do not fully release their flavor until the second or third infusion!  Use an infuser, such as the Finum Brewing Basket, to make second, third and fourth infusions easy.

– experiment with the infusion times for your Green Tea.  Some teas are best infused for only 1 or 2 minutes, some as much as 7 minutes.  Tea is a personal choice, so find the right brewing time just for you.

– water quality can affect the taste of tea.  If you have hard water out of the tap, try using filtered water to experience the true flavor of your Green Tea

Varieties of Teas

TeaFrog carries a few varieties of the most popular Green Teas.  We carry quality Japanese Teas such as:

Genmaicha Organic Green Tea – A blend of Sencha Tea and roasted brown rice is a staple in Japanese restaurants all over the world.  This tea produces a sweet nutty infusion that can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Sencha Fukujyu – Long dark leaves and a light infusion, this popular Japanese Green Tea is rich in vitamin C as well as the other natural elements in Green Tea. Smooth and sweet tasting.

TeaFrog also carries a number of high quality Chinese Teas:

Dragon Well – Lung Ching – this rare wok roasted tea produces a refreshing yellow and orange infusion with a slightly nutty flavor.

Gunpowder – named for the look of the rolled leaves, this distinct tea has a light taste and is a conversation piece as well!

Jasmine Chung Hao – this top quality Chinese Green Tea is infused with the flavor of Jasmine Flowers by layering the tea over real Jasmine.  A soothing and relaxing cup of tea for any time of the day.

This is only a sampling of the Green Teas that TeaFrog has to offer, so visit our website and introduce them into your lifestyle!