What Is Gunpowder Tea And Why Is It So Popular?

At ESP Emporium, China Gunpowder Organic Green Tea is one of our most popular blends. But what is Gunpowder tea? And what makes it so popular? Let’s find out!

Gunpowder tea is one of the world’s oldest types of tea. Instead of allowing the tea leaves to spread out, gunpowder tea is created by rolling each leaf into a tight little ball. The term ‘Gunpowder’ tea comes from the fact that each little leaf resembles gunpowder grains. And, after being exposed to hot water, each gunpowder tea leaf ‘explodes’ and expands, furthering the gunpowder metaphor.

The Tang Dynasty (618-907) was the first group to start making Gunpowder tea. However, it was mainly after production migrated to Taiwan in the 19th century that Gunpowder tea become more popular. During this period, gunpowder tea leaves were painstakingly rolled by hand – a process which took a lot longer than creating other types of tea.

Today, most Gunpowder tea is rolling by machines, although it is possible to find some (particularly the higher-grade ones) which are still rolled by hand. Most tea drinkers feel that small, tightly rolled pellets help enhance the flavor, and lower-quality Gunpowder tea blends are distinguished by larger, less tightly rolled pellets.

The best way to assess the flavor and freshness of Gunpowder tea is to look at the shininess of its pellets. In most cases, shiny pellets indicate that the tea is quite fresh.

Advantages of Gunpowder tea

If you’ve looked at our Best Selling Tea page lately, then you might have noticed that China Gunpowder tea is one of our most popular green loose leaf teas. Why is it so popular? Here are a few reasons why people love drinking Gunpowder tea:

-A unique and powerful flavor: Instead of breaking down the flavor in the leaves, the rolling process intensifies the flavor. Rolling the leaves into a tight ball prevents them from experiencing physical damage, which ultimately leads to more flavor retention.

-Can be aged for decades: Unlike other types of tea, Gunpowder tea can be aged for decades in order to unlock different flavors. However, it’s important to note that proper maintenance (like periodic roasting) is required over this period.

-Different varieties and flavors: Gunpowder tea comes in a number of different styles, including Ceylon Gunpowder tea (from Sri Lanka), Formosa Gunpowder tea (from Taiwan), and Pingshui Gunpowder tea (from the Pingshui region in China).

-Worldwide appeal: Gunpowder tea is popular in a wide variety of cultures. In North Africa, Gunpowder tea is used in the preparation of mint tea, which plays a key role at social gatherings. It’s also commonly consumed in China, Taiwan.

-Thicker, stronger taste: Gunpowder tea has a unique taste. In terms of flavor, gunpowder tea has been described as being grassy, minty, or peppery. It’s also thicker and stronger than most other teas, and its texture almost resembles ‘soft’ honey with a pleasant, smokey aftertaste. When brewed, gunpowder tea is yellow in color.

Why Buy Herbal Tea?

If you look in your closet right now, you’d probably find a variety of different clothing items.  You may have some shirts that are similar, but your collection is most likely made up of a wide range of styles and fabrics, and a rainbow of colors.  Similarly, your pantry is probably stocked with an assortment of options in each category.  Maybe you have several different snack foods, a variety of herbs and spices, or a selection of convenience foods in different flavors and cuisines.  Whether you’re considering your wardrobe or your kitchen, or any other area of your life for that matter, you acquire a variety of items because you want to be prepared for different situations.  The same outfit that’s appropriate for a day at the office might not work for a nice dinner out.  You may be in the mood to wear black one day, and feel like wearing a bright color the next.  Likewise, you stock your pantry and refrigerator with lots of food options so that you have a choice; you can find something that is appealing, no matter what you’re in the mood to eat.

A well stocked herbal tea collection should be approached just as you approach filling your closet or your kitchen; choose a variety of different options, across a few broad categories, so that you know you’ll always have something to suit your mood.  Not only are herbal infusions incredibly healthy, they are available in a huge array of flavors.  In fact, the choices when it comes to herbals might just be so wide that it becomes overwhelming.  If you feel like there are too many options to consider, you might be tempted to stick to the one brand or blend that you know, and forgo the rest of the possibilities.  But if you stick to only one herbal infusion, you’re missing out on some fantastic flavors, and some really valuable health advantages.  How can you branch out and expand your herbal collection without fumbling through the tea aisle of your supermarket for an hour? 

First of all, think about adding to your collection one herbal at a time.  Try looking for an herbal in a different flavor profile than the one you already have at home.  Look at the options you have, and consider which category each belongs in:  floral (like hibiscus or orange blossom), fruity (like peach, berry, or apple), spicy (like cinnamon or Chai), or earthy (like rooibos or chamomile).  Once you’ve determined what flavor profiles you already have, experiment with a new flavor.  Or, try a new blend that mixes something you know you love with something you haven’t tried yet.  If you’re apprehensive about committing to a big box of prepackaged infusion bags before knowing whether or not you’ll like the flavor, seek out a local tea shop.  They are becoming more common all across the country, and they have huge selections of loose herbals (and true teas) that you can purchase in small quantities to taste.

How Is Yellow Tea Different Than Other Types Of Tea?

You might have come across yellow tea as you navigate around the ESP Emporium website. Yellow tea is a popular blend of tea that can be compared to oolong or green tea. However, it features its own unique taste and a powerful stimulating effect that many people find enjoyable.

The history of yellow tea

Yellow tea has been used by Buddhist monks for hundreds of years. In fact, due to its stimulating effects and other pleasant qualities, the consumption of half-fermented yellow tea was a privilege of Buddhist monks for many years.

In ancient China, the term ‘yellow tea’ actually referred to any tea given to the emperor of China. The term didn’t refer to a specific blend of tea, but it was called ‘yellow’ because that was the royal color at the time. Tea was often taken as a form of tax from the surrounding countryside.

The manufacturing process for yellow tea is similar to that of green tea. The main difference is that yellow tea is allowed to oxidize slightly longer than green tea (which is hardly oxidized at all). In addition, yellow tea leaves are dried more slowly, which ultimately leads to a light green or yellow appearance. Yellow tea leaves are also harvested earlier in the year than green tea.

When looking at yellow tea leaves, it’s easy to confuse them for white tea leaves. The only difference is that yellow tea leaves are not covered in white down. When steeped, yellow tea is a rich, golden color that many tea drinkers find appealing. Because the color is so unique and attractive, many people prefer to drink yellow tea from glass mugs. Some people even steep their yellow tea in glass tea pots to show off the color.

Health benefits and flavor of yellow tea

Since there are only a few popular blends of yellow tea, limited research has been done on its health benefits. However, since yellow tea is derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, it features similar health benefits to green tea, black tea, and white tea. Those health benefits include reduced cholesterol buildup and increased weight loss. Since yellow tea leaves are oxidized only slightly longer than green tea, many of the health benefits of green tea can also be linked to yellow tea.

One of the best health benefits of drinking yellow tea is the antioxidant properties. These antioxidants have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental disorders, and other serious diseases.

Yellow tea appeals to a niche market of tea drinkers. For that reason, ESP Emporium only carries one type of yellow tea. That tea is called Kekecha Yellow Tea, and it features a unique coloring and a complex, smooth flavor. Many describe Kekecha Yellow Tea as fruity, as it contains hints of papaya, apricot, and an underlying spiciness. In short, Kekecha Yellow Tea is one of those teas that you should try at least once, just to see if you like it.

Chamomile Herb Tea And Its Powers

Historical evidence suggests that chamomile was valued for its medicinal properties as far back as the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece. It was commonly used to treat a host of ailments, from anxiety to indigestion.  Chamomile herb tea continued to be highly regarded throughout the Middle Ages, when it became indispensible for other reasons, as well.  Its strong, pleasantly pungent aroma made it the ideal “strewing herb”; it was scattered on the ground in public places as a primitive air freshener.  Chamomile was also important in breweries, and was used prior to the wide availability of hops to give beer its characteristic bitterness.  Throughout centuries of use, across several continents, chamomile continued to be valued and respected as an important part of medicine.

Many ancient “healing” techniques have been proven ineffective, or even harmful, by modern science; bloodlettings, the use of leeches, and magic spells have all been replaced by treatments that actually work.  Chamomile, however, is quite different.  Ancient healers trusted it, without any real knowledge of how or why it worked.  Instead of proving it ineffective, scientific research has instead led to documented evidence of the properties of chamomile that make it a legitimate wellness remedy for a number of conditions.  Perhaps most commonly known for its soothing properties, chamomile contains compounds that can relieve muscle spasms and relax the nerves.  These compounds can ease the discomfort of mild aches and pains and provide an effective relief from stress and anxiety.  Research has also shown that chamomile metabolizes into phenolic compounds, which have antibacterial and immune-boosting properties.  It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  The active components in chamomile make it an ideal remedy for the symptoms of ailments like the common cold, allergies, insomnia, and arthritis.  A topical salve made from chamomile can also be effective in treating conditions like eczema and hemorrhoids. 

Chamomile has powerful medicinal properties; when consumed regularly, its effects are compounded.  However, consuming a chamomile infusion won’t ever be confused with taking medicine.  It has a distinctive flavor; it’s light, slightly tart, and fruity.  If the flavor of chamomile by itself doesn’t suit your palate, you can still enjoy this healthy beverage in one of the many flavor blends available from a number of different brands.  Chamomile mixes very well with many fruit infusions like peach and berry, as well as earthy herbal flavors like jasmine and lemongrass, and floral flavors like orange blossom and hibiscus.  No matter what your taste preference is, there’s a chamomile tea that you will love.  Enjoy a chamomile tisane any time you want to relax and feel better; consumed regularly, chamomile is an important part of your natural journey towards a healthier life. Because it’s an herbal infusion, chamomile is completely caffeine-free and a great way to encourage a restful and restorative night’s sleep; steep a cup of pure chamomile or an herbal blend and drink about half an hour before going to bed.  Healthy, natural chamomile is a daily treat for a better life.

What Are Chocolate Tea Blends?

Tea blends come in all sorts of different flavors. But one flavor you might not have expected is chocolate. At ESP Emporium, we carry a few different blends of chocolate tea, and they’re all very delicious. Today, we’re going to show you what you can expect when you order chocolate tea and other sweet tea blends.

Chocolate tea comes in only a few different blends. Most of these teas are best used as dessert teas, although they’re so delicious that you might start craving them at any time of the day. Many of our chocolate teas are of the Rooibos variety, which is already a tasty tea on its own. When combined with chocolate, it creates a spectacular mixture of flavor.

Our Chocolate/Cream/Truffles Rooibos Tea Blend is particularly popular. Priced at only $4.95 for a 50 gram packet, this tea replicates the soft, melting sensation of truffle chocolate candies. The scent of our chocolate teas is immediately noticeable. And once you smell it, it’s tough to resist taking another sip. Some have even described our chocolate tea blends as being a healthy type of ‘liquid chocolate’.

Many people drink tea for its health benefits. While some people see chocolate as unhealthy, it is actually very good for your body when taken in small doses. Chocolate has been linked to lower blood pressure and reduced levels of cholesterol, and it also helps to relax blood pressure due to the increased production of nitric oxide. So, not only does chocolate tea taste great, but it also has its fair share of health benefits.

One of our most popular chocolate blends is our Chocolate Cake Honeybrush Tea, something that any chocolate fan will love. The tea itself tastes surprisingly similar to chocolate cake, and it combines the rich, dark flavor of chocolate with the light sensation of cake to give it a fantastic flavoring. It even has a chocolaty cake aroma and is decorated with rosebuds. It’s a must for any chocolate fans.

For all of these reasons, many of our chocolate teas are classified as ‘wellness teas’. Take the Mousse au Chocolate Rooibos Tea, for example. Much like the classic French dessert itself, Mousse au Chocolate Rooibos tea melts on your tongue to release a rich, chocolaty flavor.

Chocolate tea is often used as a cravings-quencher. It has a bold flavor but features few calories, making it an ideal replacement for high-calorie desserts and other unhealthy snacks. In that sense, chocolate tea can certainly be used as a weight loss aid.

Other dessert teas

Of course, our dessert teas come in more than just the chocolate variety. We also carry exciting flavors like Creamsicle Rooibos, which is every bit as delicious as it sounds. That tea features strong flavors of orange combined with a light yoghurt flavoring that many tea drinkers will find pleasantly unique.

Whether you use chocolate tea as a cravings-quencher or as a healthier type of dessert, there’s no denying its rich flavor and health benefits.