"Gunpowder tea is green tea, most of which comes from a city named Pingshui in the Eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, south of the Yangtse River Delta, where it has been cultivated for centuries and is known as the "green pearl" of tea. Pingshui tea market records date as far back as the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 - 907). The areas gunpowder tea was an important tribute traditionally given to the Chinese emperors; and with the growing trade volume between China and the West it also acquired an increasing number of lovers in Europe. Particularly during the second half of the 19th century, when gunpowder tea export reached its peak, its price on the London market was second only to then-popular Wu Yi Oolong (also from China). Even today, Zhejiang Province still proudly calls itself "home of silk and tea" for its two primary natural products.
The name "gunpowder" derives from the teas elaborate method of processing, which traditionally lasts several hours and during which the tea leaves are withered, steamed or stir-fried and individually rolled into small pellets. Early foreign traders mistook these pellets for gunpowder or gunshot.
Gunpowder tea has a delicate aroma with a slightly smokey note. It should *always* be enjoyed without milk or cream. "