My Review of Twinings Gunpowder Green Tea

I just purchased the book The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook.  In their gallery of green teas, they talk about gunpowder tea being one of the best known and well liked of all standard green teas.  Gunpowder tea is normally produced in Zhejiang Province, China.

Twinings Gunpowder Green TeaYesterday, I wandered into the tea aisle of a local health supermarket and found a cool looking tin of Twinings Gunpowder Green Tea (loose tea). It was very inexpensive being under $10, so I thought I would try it out.

Twinings of London has actually been around since 1706 and was one of the first companies to sell tea to the British, according to their website. Now, they sell over 200 teas in more than 100 countries.

Review of Twinings Gunpowder Green Tea

I really liked the smell of the leaves, which smelled sweet.  I have seen others describe it as having a sweet smoky honey smell, but I am still learning how to evaluate the smell of loose leaf teas.

Loose leaf gunpowder teaThe directions say to pour boiling water over the leaves for 3-5 minutes, but based on my research it really should be steeped at a lower temperature.

While gunpowder tea is said to tolerate a wide range of temperatures, I have made the call to brew it at 175 degrees Farenheit for 3 minutes and 30 seconds using my Breville Tea Maker.

Results after steeping:

Brewed gunpowder green teaColor and smell: The tea’s liquor (liquid of the tea) came out a nice amber like color as you can see from the following picture. I would say the smell had a strong earthy green scent and smoky.

Flavor: I am still learning on how to describe the taste of teas, so I will do my best here.  It had a grassy type taste with a bitter aftertaste.  I was surprised that it still tasted bitter with the lower temperature and fairly short steeping time.  I plan to lower the steeping time to 2.5 minutes next time.  My thirst also felt very quenched with a dryness sensation that continued to last long after drinking the tea.

Overall, the tea was so so, but I will play around with steeping times and temperature to eliminate the bitterness, which was my main issue.  I have seen some reviews online saying that Twinings Gunpowder Green Tea has a light taste, but that was not my experience at all.  I plan to re-steep this a few times to see if I can get the lighter taste that people are describing.

I plan to give this tea many more chances since Twinings has such a great reputation.

Second Steeping

Ok, so I re-steeped this tea at 170 degrees Farenheit for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and most of the bitterness went away, and now the tea tasted much lighter.  I enjoyed the flavor much more without the bitterness.

Third Steeping

I decided to steep this tea one last time and then refrigerate it for a cold tea in the morning.  I put in about a teaspoon and a half of rock sugar and brewed again at 170 degrees Farenheit for 2 minutes.  I then placed the tea in the refrigerator overnight.  The tea tasted amazing in the morning since the sugar sweetened the tea.

You can buy Twinings Gunpowder Green Tea at Amazon here:

3 Comments

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  • I tried it. I didn’t have a clue as to what I was doing. I filled half of a a mulling spice ball with the tea; put the tea into enough water to almost cover the ball; brought it to a boil; then I let it steep for about a half an hour. It was strong and had a smoky, bitter taste. I then sueezed the juice of half a lemon in it, then put in 2 stevia packs for sweetness. It was better to drink then. I don’t think I’ll purchase anymore of this tea. Then again, maybe I should use less tea and cut down on the steeping time.

  • Hi, you really need to cut down on the steeping time tremendously. My understanding is it should only be steeped for a few minutes. I’m also not sure how much tea fits in a mulling spice ball, so yeah make sure you are not using too much tea. Recently, I’ve switched to sencha green tea, which is sweeter in general without sugar.

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