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Gunpowder Green

From Victorian tastes to the present day… Read More

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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

    Sweet, Smoky

  • 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.

A note from Whittard

“I’m a huge oolong fan – the sheer diversity of different flavours is pretty mind-boggling. My favourites are the creamy, almost buttery high grown oolongs grown in Taiwan.”

- Bethan, Specialist Tea Buyer


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…


Gunpowder Green

The number 8 is very lucky in Chinese, associated with prosperity. It seemed an auspicious number for our classic Gunpowder Green…

Taste Guarantee

We’re confident that you’ll love our products as much as we do. Our Taste Guarantee means that if anything fails to meet your expectations you can return for an exchange or full refund – just remember to enclose the original receipt if you're returning it by post or popping in store. That way you're free to try something new, without the risk of disappointment.

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