The health results gained from drinking Gunpowder tea are basically derived from the flavonoids and antioxidants abundant in the camellia sinensis plant species. This is where all the various types of green teas are obtained from.
Gunpowder tea is a type of green tea in which the leaves are rolled into small pellets resembling those that were used for ammunitions in the 1600s. The tea leaves were rolled into that form as a way to maintain their freshness and preserve their moisture during long trips as they are conveyed overseas. Gunpowder tea is mainly produced in the Zhejiang Province in China.
While the name was believed to have been coined by the British sailors in the 17th century, the production of gunpowder tea was believed to have originated back during the Tang Dynasty in 618 B.C. To produce the gunpowder tea, the leaves are steamed and tightly rolled into small pellets, and are then dried.
Gunpowder tea has a hearty, mildly bitter and strong flavor that is highly astringent. It contains caffeine. The slowly unfurls like a flower as the tea leaves absorb water. Occasionally, the pellets will “pop” completely open once hot water touches it.
To make gunpowder tea, place a teaspoon of the tea pellets in about 5 ounces of newly-boiled water. The leaves should be soaked for one to two minutes.
As with all green teas, the minimal processing undergone by gunpowder tea allows for a higher level of antioxidants to remain intact. The primary antioxidant embodied in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate).
Some health benefits acknowledged from Gunpowder tea:
- Believed to aid in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
- Claimed to be helpful in the prevention of cancer.
- Said to help blood sugar regulation.
- Could prevent tooth decay by fighting cavities and gingivitis.
- Can strengthen the immune system and fight ailments resulting from bacteria and viruses.
- May assist skin health.