Gunpowder – Tightly Rolled Green Tea/Oliver & Pluff

It’s been too long since my last decent, straight-up gunpowder cuppa tea! I was digging deep into my stash and came across Gunpowder from Oliver & Pluff and knew I HAD to have a cup…PRONTO! You see, it’s been way too long since my last sip of a tea from Olive & Pluff, too! GOSH! What’s wrong with me!? That’s a post for another day and another blog!

In the meantime, here are my thoughts on Gunpowder from Olive & Pluff!

It’s labeled on the package as Gunpowder – tightly rolled green tea. On the website it’s also referred to as Pinhead Gunpowder. And said to be ‘Temple of Heaven’ grade. With a product description of ‘Lightly roasted and tightly rolled green tea. Named due to its similar appearance to actual gunpowder’…it seemed like a pretty standard explanation.

But the flavor profile? They say…it’s a combo of refreshing lemon and light vegetable. An excellent green tea for everyday brewing. Witness the “agony of the tea leaf” as the tightly rolled leaves fitfully unfurl to fully expand in hot water.

I say…I would agree with that claim for the most part. I have to point out that I think the natural lemon notes in this Gunpowder are of the more impressive I have sipped from a Gunpowder. That, I LOVE. I found the vegetable pairing was pretty sturdy, too. I would consider it ‘light’ but more of a 60/40…lemon…vegetable.

What I also love about Olive & Pluff is that you get a little bit of history with their tea. With this one comes the Colonial American History. They state – In 18th century British America, tea was an expensive, exotic import, first popular with more wealthy colonists, then with the middle classes as well. According to mercantile records, various grades of gunpowder tea were a common import to America.

Interesting tidbit of history and lovely cuppa Gunpowder! CHEERS!

Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Oliver & Puff


Lightly roasted and tightly rolled green tea.  Named due to its similar appearance to actual gunpowder.

Notes:  Refreshing lemon and light vegetable.  An excellent green tea for everyday brewing.  Witness the “agony of the tea leaf” as the tightly rolled leaves fitfully unfurl to fully expand in hot water.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Gunpowder Green from The Tea Spot. . . . .

I found out today that gunpowder green teas are called “gunpowder” because they’re a little smoky — not because they’re going to violently pop open when they unfurl. Which is sort of disappointing, because I wanted to watch some sort of mayhem in my steeper this morning.

I also found out, while locating this tea on the Tea Spot’s site, that gunpowder tea is “commonly used by athletes to improve endurance over periods of 3-6 hours.”

Well, then, this tea has found its audience, because I am a HUGE ATHLETE. Like, super-beefy. I spend upwards of 8 hours a day hitting “file, print” on my computer. Gotta keep my PRINT ARM strong. Then, at the end of ALL THAT, I go to my local Planet Fitness and halfheartedly put forth about 20-30 minutes on the elliptical. Sometimes. About twice a week.

But there I go, talking about being SUCH A JOCK ALL THE TIME. This is about the tea.

Visuals: This tea comes in cute little pellets. I pity the person that has to sit there and twist them, but the effect is awesome. This tea is a wonderful unfurler. It bounces open in a really satisfying way.

Flavor: This taste profile is just like the movie Fern Gully: the Last Rainforest. It tastes like rich chlorophyll, like sun distilled across leaves, thriving, growing.

I used to think that “vegetal” was a bad word. Veggies are the thing you have to be FORCED to eat, right? What person innately comes out of the womb wanting greens?

But I’ve come around. I like brussels sprouts and broccoli. I’ll throw greenery on my plate on purpose. It’s not sweet, but it’s healthy, and it’s RIGHT, somehow.

This tea is totally right like veggies belong on the plate now for me. It’s the balance of the feminine green-ness with the faint masculine smokiness. It is yin, it is yang.

I feel like I’d be drinking this in a zen garden in the middle of a forest before teaching my Young Grasshopper calligraphy and battle skills. I have no battle skills in real life, but this tea makes me think that maybe I could develop them.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Green Tea
Where to Buy:  The Tea Spot

The leaves of this green tea are rolled into the shape of little pinhead pellets resembling gunpowder, hence its name. Gunpowder green tea tastes bold & lightly smoky, also lending to its name. Gunpowder tea leaves stay fresh longer than any other green tea leaves due to its compressed form. Gunpowder green is higher in caffeine than most other green teas (35-40 mg/8 oz serving) and is commonly used by athletes to improve endurance over periods of 3-6 hours.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!