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The Business of Blends
One area we have been diving into more at The Tea Table is the craft of blends. While we have always offered our own flavored blends, in the last couple years we have ventured further into unflavored ones.
Temple of Heaven Gunpowder Tea
Gunpowder tea, traditionally made using green tea, is named for the fact that its visual appearance resembles that of gunpowder. The tea leaves are specially selected for quality, size, and style so that they can be rolled into very small, tight pellets. Temple of Heaven Gunpowder (also called Pinhead) comes from the Zhejiang province of China and is the highest grade gunpowder available. The leaves for this tea are only plucked during April and May when the quality of the green leaf is at its highest. The leaves are then steamed and tightly rolled in a time-honored process. Gunpowder tea keeps for much longer than other green teas and is favored because of this characteristic.
When preparing this tea, part of the ritual is to take a pinch of the gunpowder and drop it into a porcelain cup to hear the jingle and tinkle of the leaves hitting the sides. Boiling water causes them to open up like flowers and sink slowly to the bottom in graceful patterns, which adds dimension of visual pleasure to drinking this tea. The gunpowder produces a smooth and light cup with a distinct smokiness. Because gunpowder is more dense than other tea, less of it is required when brewing. Use half of a teaspoon per cup and steep 1-2 minute in steaming water.
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