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Best Gunpowder Tea

best gunpowder tea

Our Recommendations for the Best Gunpowder Tea

It can be overwhelming to seek out new tea flavors like gunpowder tea. We have put together this simple tea guide to help you. We’ve included our top 3 recommendations, as well as tips for choosing and brewing the best gunpowder tea.

Best Overall

Organic Gunpowder Green Tea by Tea Mind Body


Organic Gunpowder Green Loose Leaf Tea by FGO


Organic Gunpowder Green Tea in Loose Leaf by Numi

#1 Organic Gunpowder Green Tea by Tea Mind Body

Tea Mind Body offers a large selection of organic loose leaf tea, including gunpowder green tea. Most of their teas are delivered in standing pouch bags made with paper and foil for freshness. These teas are well worth the investment for the number of cups of tea that you can enjoy from a single purchase.

Buying in bulk can save money by reducing the number of orders over a period of time. Why waste money on constantly shipping tea to your door? Tea Mind Body's bulk teas are great for serious tea lovers.


  • Certified Organic
  • Sourced from “Green Tea Golden Triangle” in China
  • Great bulk tea source for serious tea drinkers


  • The price is a little more expensive than other brands

#2 Organic Gunpowder Green Loose Leaf Tea by FGO

FGO offers a variety of imported, fully organic, and loose leaf teas, including gunpowder green tea. This company tends to favor packaging their tea in an easily resealable paper and foil-based bag in two different sizes for your tea-drinking needs. All of the FGO products are 100% certified organic and GMO-free.

Loose tea leaves allow you to adjust the strength of your gunpowder tea to your taste. If you think the flavor is weak, add more tea leaves to your steeping time. If you like strong tea, you might invest in the one-pound bag instead of the 4 oz bag.


  • Certified Organic
  • Non-GMO and 100% Raw
  • 4 oz and 16oz sizes for 50 or 200 cups


  • Slightly more expensive

#3 Organic Gunpowder Green Tea in Loose Leaf by Numi

Numi offers a selection of Organic certified teas with no additives or fillers. Numi also sources their tea leaves from Fair Trade certified gardens located in China. These gardens are harvested annually by local farmers and rolled within hours of picking the leaves.

This brand of gunpowder green tea has been described as full-bodied and a naturally sweet-flavored tea with aromatic hints of sweet tobacco. That’s not to say that it tastes like tobacco, just that the aromatics are similar. The light amber color is a delight for any tea lover.


  • Imported whole tea leaf, no tea dust or unwanted fannings
  • Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified
  • Recyclable packaging


  • Most expensive per pound

What Is Gunpowder Green Tea?

Gunpowder green tea is made with leaves from the green tea plant. The green tea plant’s scientific name is Camellia sinensis. This tea plant has been cultivated in multiple coastal regions in China, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka.

Typical green tea and gunpowder green tea use different methods to pick and process the tea leaves. Green tea typically uses younger tea leaves, while gunpowder green tea uses slightly older tea leaves. The different ages of the tea leaves influence the flavor and aroma profile of the green tea.

After the initial harvest of the older tea leaves from the plant, the leaves are gently steamed and rolled into tiny “pearls.” These tea “pearls” or pellets help the leaves retain the unique flavor and aroma of the older green tea leaf. The highest-quality pellets will be very small and unbroken.

This process of steaming and rolling the leaves into small pellets has inspired more than one name for the tea. The dark color and small size of the rolled leaves in this loose leaf tea variety lends to the name “gunpowder” tea. It may also be known as “Pearl Tea,” from the translation of its Chinese name.

The tea leaves are rolled like this because it is believed to be beneficial and helps the leaves retain all of the nutrients and caffeine in the plant. The rolling process may also contribute to a more robust flavor in the tea.

After the steamed and tightly rolled tea leaf “pearls” are formed, they are set to dry. These tiny rolled leaves will unfurl as they are brewed into your tea. You can even enjoy watching the leaves as they begin to uncurl and infuse your tea.

The plants used for gunpowder green tea are found in China, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka. Each region provides slightly different growing conditions, leading to slight variances between regionally harvested green tea leaves. The flavor of gunpowder green tea is often described as strong and smoky with an aftertaste that is similar to copper.

How to Brew a Delicious Cup of Gunpowder Green Tea

When you have a new bag of gunpowder green tea to try, you want to brew it just right! We’ve put together a simple guide to making a delicious cup of gunpowder tea that will help you make your cup of tea the best it can be.

  1. Begin heating water in a teapot or other water warming device. The ideal water temperature for brewing gunpowder green tea is between 160- and 180-degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Preheat your glass or porcelain teacup by pouring plain hot water into it. Allow the hot water to cover the entire inside of the cup. Then, pour the water out.
  3. Place one or two teaspoons of the gunpowder green tea leaves into your preheated teacup. The total amount will depend on your preferences for the strength of flavor. You can adjust as needed as you become familiar with the gunpowder variety of tea.
  4. Pour the freshly heated water over the tea leaves in your teacup.
  5. Allow the tea to brew to full flavor. Too little brew time will make for a weaker tea, while too much brew time will make for a more bitter taste. Typically, two to three minutes of steep time is ideal for most tea drinkers. Feel free to experiment to find your perfect brew time.
  6. Strain out the tea leaves once your cup has reached your optimal brew time.
  7. Sip and enjoy your freshly brewed cup of gunpowder green tea.

How to Pick the Best Gunpowder Tea

When you are investing in imported teas like gunpowder green tea, you want to be sure you are buying the best. Many factors that influence tea selection, so we have compiled a few key points that will help you make the right choice.

Origin of Tea

Gunpowder tea originated in the Zhejiang Province located within China during the Tang Dynasty. Over two thousand years later, additional regions have adopted this tea, including Taiwan and Sri Lanka. The green tea leaves from each region may have slight differences in growth and flavor.


The best gunpowder tea leaves will be very small, shiny, and tightly rolled into compact pellets. The leaves should not be broken during the rolling process for high-quality gunpowder tea. Lower-grade gunpowder teas are more likely to have larger rolled leaves or broken pieces of leaf.

Gunpowder tea can be made with different strains of tea plants, including green tea, oolong tea, or black tea leaves. Green tea types will have the most caffeine content, while black gunpowder tea has the lowest caffeine content.


The taste of gunpowder tea is often described as strong, with layers of smokiness coming through as you sip it. Some also describe it as having a note of sweet, natural honey flavor that hides between the other flavors. The aftertaste of gunpowder tea is a bit metallic and coppery.

The gunpowder tea flavor you experience may change based on how you brew your tea. You can shorten the brewing time or lower the water temperature for a weaker flavor. Alternatively, you can lengthen the brew time and increase water temperature for a more robust, bitter taste.


The best packaging practices for gunpowder tea will include airtight, resealable bags. Loose leaf tea like gunpowder won’t require additional and wasteful bags or strings. Airtight packaging helps to slow down the oxidation of the tea leaves, which helps retain a better flavor and aroma.


Less expensive varieties of gunpowder tea are likely rolled into pellets by machine. While this machine method is effective, it is not exactly authentic. High-quality and more expensive gunpowder teas will have their tea leaves rolled by hand.

Generally, higher-priced gunpowder tea should mean that the tea has been authentically sourced, carefully processed, and has a high-quality tea leaf. However, we all know that price does not automatically mean quality. Even if the tea is of a lower quality or different region, it can still be enjoyable.

Final Thoughts on Gunpowder Green Tea

This is a unique type of tea that uses older tea leaves and a unique preparation process to infuse more flavor into your favorite cup. There is a lot of room for experimentation with gunpowder type teas. Explore all of the varieties to find the best gunpowder tea for your ideal tea flavor and aroma.