Sunday, March 4, 2012

Temple of Heaven Gunpowder Green Tea

I have actually been wanting to try this tea for a while, but I was only ever able to find it in humongous quantities in the Asian markets local to me. While the size (and price risk) was not necessarily a problem in and of itself, my tea box has been dangerously full for the past several months, and not really having a place to store yet another large container of tea persuaded me to wait until a smaller container was available. And just a few weeks ago my patience was rewarded, as I found a much smaller box of the tea at an Asian market during one of my recent visits to Spartanburg.

For those who are as unaware as I was about what "gunpowder" green tea is, it is a specific form of green tea from China's Zhejiang Province. Each leaf is rolled into a small bead before drying, which gives the tea an appearance similar to that of the black powder used in early firearms. 

Although the tea was given its English nickname purely based on the aesthetics of the rolled leaves, rolling the tea leaves actually helps to prevent damage during handling, therefore allowing the leaves to keep more of their original flavor. Feel free to visit the Wikipedia entry for more relevant information about gunpowder tea. 

As far as the flavor goes, this tea is excellent. It has a pleasant, full-bodied aroma that is very flavorful and yet somehow a bit more mild than a lot of other green teas. I like green tea a good bit, but I have had varieties in the past that have a somewhat pungent aroma that ends up being a little bit too strong for my tastes. But that is certainly not so with this one. The flavor is delicate, fresh, and subtle in ways that others often aren't, while still being a definitive example of a high quality and authentic green tea. I really like this one a lot, and I definitely suggest that tea drinkers pick up a box.

Verdict: Highly recommended

Purchased: Unkown Asian Food Store [Spartanburg, SC]
Size: 250 grams
Price: $2.99

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