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Gunpowder Green

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From Victorian tastes to the present day…

Before black tea captured the British imagination, green tea was the brew of choice for businessmen and bohemians alike. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries this was likely to have been a classic Chinese 'gunpowder' tea, fired in large drums for a smoky taste and tightly rolled to resemble pellets of gunpowder.

The ancient technique of rolling the leaves gave the tea a certain hardiness as it was transported across continents, preserving its distinctive flavour and aroma. As a result, gunpowder-style green tea became one of the most popular teas to export. It soon became a favourite tea in the Maghreb, used in the preparation of traditional North African mint tea for centuries. Our Gunpowder Green is a particularly bright, clean variety with a smooth sweetness and a smoke-tinged finish - beautiful brewed lightly for clarity of taste.

  • Tea Type

    Green Tea

  • Origin


  • Taste Profile

    Smoky, Sweet

  • Tastes like

    Smooth, sweet and slightly smoky

  • Food pairing

    Camembert cheese – creaminess is perfect with nutty flavour of tea

  • When to drink

    A classic palate-cleanser, rather nice for elevenses

Brew the perfect cup

Add one teaspoon (around 2g) of loose leaf tea per cup and use freshly drawn water heated to around 80 degrees. For the ideal temperature either pour the water before it reaches boiling point or allow the water to sit for 3-5 minutes after boiling. Allow to brew for 2-3 minutes according to taste. Best enjoyed without milk.

* * * * - (7)

7 Reviews

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* * * * * Mrs by Leah on 13th May 2018

I Drink gunpowder every day and love it so much that I decided I will share it with my sister, who lives in America. Now she and her son drink this tea and they can't wait for me to bring it over again.

* * * * * Love this tea by on 24th March 2018

I always start the day with loose leaf green tea. I have tried several types, including some very expensive ones, and this is my favourite. Good strong flavour and not too much bitterness.

* - - - - Smells of old cigarettes by Lee on 19th February 2018

I love green tea and have tried so many different makes. Was therefore, quite keen to try Whittards version. The tea, in its dried form, looks perfectly done etc, but, once it is diffused (in a Whittards cup diffuser) in water,it smells 'very' strongly of old cigarettes. As a non-smoker, I just cannot drink it. I have dried varying the quantity and all the same results.

* * * * * Gunpowder by Timothy on 24th February 2017

I've been drinking different brands of gunpowder for years, and the Whittard is in the top two. Smooth, strong green tea - great for late-night or any other time.

* * * * - Great tea by Sophie on 7th July 2016

I love the green tea flavour from this tea and find it perfect to drink at work.

* * * * * Not funny smell at all ! by Kristina on 13th April 2016

My favourite one more then a five years ! Doesn`t smell like cigarettes at all !

* * * - - Nice tea! But funny smell! Not enough to put you off. by Laura O'Leary on 5th January 2016

This is nice tea, very balanced flavor but it smells like cigarettes! I passed it round the office and they smelt it too! But honest - taste wise, fine!!

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The Chinese invented paper, gunpowder and the compass. But their finest innovation has to be tea, reputedly first discovered by the emperor Shen Nong in 2737 BCE. Originally prepared as a medicinal brew, tea became a drink in its own right during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), and today China produces thousands of different varieties ranging from black, green and white tea to oolong, puerh and yellow tea. If you’re looking for a bit of teatime reading take a look at Lu Yu’s ‘Tea Classic’: first written in 780 CE, it covers everything from cultivation methods to tea etiquette…

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