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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.

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.

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.

What’s The Story Behind Formosa Oolong Tea?

While browsing the ESP Emporium website, you may have come across a special type of tea called Formosa oolong. What is Formosa oolong? And where does it come from? Today, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about Formosa oolong tea.

What is Formosa oolong?

Formosa oolong refers to any oolong tea that has been grown and produced in the country of Taiwan. It is also referred to as Taiwanese oolong. In years past, Taiwan was called Formosa (meaning ‘beautiful’), by Portuguese and Spanish sailors, which is why tea from the region is known as Formosa to this day.

Tea trees do not grow naturally in Taiwan. Although the history of Formosa tea is not 100% certain, it appears that tea trees were planted in Taiwan at the beginning of the 18th century. Evidence suggests that Chinese settlers brought tea plants over to Taiwan and planted them in the Taiwanese highlands.

Over the past 300 years, Taiwan has perfected tea production. Today, the country is known mostly for its oolong tea, which comes in a variety of blends.

Types of Formosa oolong tea

At ESP Emporium, we offer several types of Taiwanese oolong tea. Here are the blends that we have to offer:

Oolong Tea Lemon Basil: This blend is flavorful and serves as a perfect dessert to end a dinner. Some have also suggested using Oolong Tea Lemon Basil as an iced tea by mixing it with a pinch of lime and honey.

Flower of Asia (Mango) Oolong Tea: This blend is more complex and combines the flowery soft notes of the Lotus Oolong with the soft, spicy flavor that accompanies many Chinese teas. In short, it combines a pleasant mixture of different Asian flavors into one single blend.

Formosa Butterfly of Taiwan Oolong Tea: Creating this tea requires a strict adherence to quality standards. The blend can only be produced in the Taiwanese highlands, and fermentation must be stopped at the critical moment. During the fermentation process, the edges of the leaves darken while the center of the leaves remain green, giving this blend a pleasant sweetness and a fleshier drinking sensation. 

Formosa Oolong Tea: This is the classic Formosa Oolong Tea. Produced in the Taiwanese highlands, the leaves in this blend are fermented until about 50% wilted. During this process, growers use bamboo baskets to dry the leaves, which ultimately leads to a light-tasting tea with hints of flowery and spicy flavors.

Formosa Superior Fancy Oolong Tea: This is our finest quality Formosa oolong tea blend. Creating this blend requires a careful fermentation process. Once the blend is complete, it offers a noble taste that tea connoisseurs will appreciate. Formosa Superior Fancy Oolong Tea also provides an intense flowery bouquet and highly aromatic scents.

Ultimately, Formosa oolong tea tastes similar to oolong teas from nearby China. This makes sense, since the leaves were imported from that region in the first place. If you’re looking for a unique oolong flavor appropriate for any occasion, then we have a number of Formosa teas waiting for you to try.

Can Tea Ever Be Bad For Your Health?

Tea is widely regarded as one of the healthiest beverages one can drink. However, there are thousands of different types of tea on the market, and some of these tea blends are healthier than others. Today, we’re going to help you determine which tea blends are good for your health and which ones are bad.

Dieting teas – do they really work?

Everybody likes to look for an easy way to lose weight. Unfortunately, losing weight is rarely easy. Dieters tea come in a number of different flavors and varieties. Unfortunately, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about dieters teas. They often contain very few healthy ingredients and are packed with sugar or artificial sweeteners. In many cases, the only diet-specific ingredients included in dieters teas is caffeine, which temporary increases your metabolism and helps your body burn fat. Aside from caffeine, most of these dieters teas are fuelled by hype and feature minimal results.

Many dieters teas contain ingredients like senna, aloe, buckthorn, and other plant-derived laxatives. The FDA has issued warnings about these ingredients due to their lack of effectiveness.

Instant teas

Many instant teas contain very little actual tea at all. Instead, they are packed with preservatives, artificial sweeteners, sugar, and other unhealthy compounds. While not all instant teas are bad, many of them can be dangerous for your health.

Watch out for these tea ingredients

Both dieters teas and instant teas contain strange ingredients that can negatively affect your health. Specifically, the FDA has warned against taking teas that include:

-Ephedra (used for weight loss)

-Willow bark

-Germander

-Comfrey

-Lobelia

-Chaparral

Teas with those ingredients will often advertise that ingredient prominently. Unfortunately, these ingredients have unknown (and possibly harmful) effects on the body, so think twice before drinking these types of tea.

Herbal teas

‘Herbal tea’ is a broad term for any tea containing fruits, herbs, seeds, roots, and other natural ingredients. Because herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black, and oolong teas, their health benefits can vary.

Here are some of the features that science has linked to herbal teas:

-Chamomile tea has antioxidants that can reduce diabetes and lower the risk of nerve and kidney damage. Some studies have also shown that it stunts the growth of cancer cells.

-Echinacea herbal tea has been suggested as a way to stave off colds. However, research on Echinacea herbal teas has not demonstrated a clear link as of yet.

-Hibiscus herbal teas: Recent studies have found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea on a daily basis can lower blood pressure for those who already have modestly elevated blood pressure.

-Rooibos: Medical studies on rooibos herbal tea have been limited, although rooibos tea does contain flavonoids that could help fight cancer and other diseases.

The healthiest tea to drink?

In general, tea is one of the healthiest beverages in the world. Most tea is strictly derived from the Camellia sinensis plant with only a few different flavorings added to give it a unique twist. Camellia sinensis is an incredibly healthy plant that has been linked to health benefits like reduced cholesterol levels and weight loss.

Any black, white, green, or oolong tea is derived from the camellia sinensis plant, which means that it is geranlly quite healthy. Tea is also healthiest when used in a ‘loose’ blend, as more surface area is exposed to the surrounding water, increasing the nutrients and antioxidants that are released.