Have you heard of Gunpowder Temple of Heaven Green Tea?
There are various stories on how this tea got its unusual name. But I think I like this one the best. The grey-green balls are known as "zucha" or "pearl tea" to the Chinese. Many years ago, an Englishman whose business was to transport tea thought that they resembled gunpowder pellets, and the name stuck.
In reality, the tiny pearls of this Gunpowder Temple of Heaven Green Tea are hand-rolled, leaf by leaf, and made of some of the finest quality Chinese green teas. Selected leaves and buds are rolled into tight pellets (the smaller the pellets, the higher the quality) that slowly and gracefully open as they brew.
As the pellets don't fully open with the first steeping, you will be able to get a second steeping.
When the leaves have fully unrolled, you can see large pieces of intact leaves, including entire leaves.
You'll be amazed considering how small the pellets are before brewing and how large they actually are once they have unfolded. Because of this, you can use a smaller amount of tea and still get a fabulous cup. I also found that this tea can be steeped for a shorter time (2 minutes or less) and still produce a nice flavorful cup.
Gunpowder Temple of Heaven Green Tea produces a delicious brew with a sweet vegetal flavor and a delightful, lingering smokey aftertaste. This tea pairs well with meat, vegetables, cheeses, and of course, my favorite, chocolate.
Here is another fun tidbit: This tea forms the basis for the Organic Moroccan Mint Tea. So feel free to add a few mint leaves or try adding some lemon and sugar as it steeps. As the weather warms up, this tea also makes a lovely iced tea.