|Country of Origin|
|A smooth and satisfying cup with dashes of bakiness. Premium gunpowder that hails from Pin Lin, Taiwan’s tea capital.|
|Luxury green tea.|
|Taiwan is known for producing the world finest gunpowder teas. They should be, they have had a lot of practice, tea plants were first brought to the island over 300 years ago from Fujian province in China. Tea growers recognized that Taiwan had the climactic conditions and topographical features required for producing excellent teas, these being lofty mountain meadows, fresh water and wet humid conditions. First, freshly plucked green leaf is pan-fired at between 280C and 300C to keep it from fermenting. In early times, this would have been done by hand in large wok shaped pans, today it is done by machine. Next, the leaves are rolled to facilitate molecular breakdown in the leaf, release flavor and make the leaves more pliable for shaping. After rolling the leaf is broken into smaller pieces and sent to the primary dryer. The tea is sent through this dryer 3 times for 30 minutes at around 125C. After drying the leaf is sent to the rolling machine.|
Depending on the style being produced that day, different shaped machines are used. In the case of gunpowder the roller is a round drum that turns the tea over and over in on itself. The final stage, the one that gives gunpowder its signature glossy look and brittle texture is secondary drying at temperatures ranging from 70C to 100C depending on ambient humidity. At the end of the process the leaf should have a moisture content of no more than 5 percent and be tightly wound into a neat ball-like shape.
The result is a truly special tea with a unique flavor. The cup displays notes of smoke and sweet grass, with subtle undertones of burnt honey. A common mistake is to brew gunpowder in water that is too hot and scalding to the mouth. If this is done, many of the subtle layers of character may be lost. Instead, use water that has almost reached the boiling point. This will allow your tongue to properly catalogue the nuances of the tea without searing your taste buds. Pin Lin Gunpowder, a stunning example of a Taiwanese gunpowder tea.
Hot tea brewing method: When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly, about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180F or 80C. Place about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons in your cup, let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment, do not remove the leaves from the cup. Once the water level is low, add more water, and so on and so on until the flavor of the tea is exhausted.
Iced tea brewing method: (to make 1 qt): Place 6 teaspoons of tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Pour 1 1/4 cups of freshly boiled water over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the leaves. Add ice and top up the pitcher with cold water. Garnish and sweeten to taste. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to double the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.
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