Gunpowder tea comes from specific provinces in China, mostly the Zhejiang Province, and dates back to the year 600. It did not become popular until the tea was introduced in Taiwan in the 1800s.
Today, gunpowder tea is rolled by machines, though some of the higher grades of tea are still hand rolled. Rolling the leaves keeps them from breaking and allows for lengthy storage time - decades, in some instances. The process also keeps the flavor in the leaves.
Like other green teas, the gunpowder variety is associated with a number of important health benefits. Consumed plain, green tea also provides zero-calorie refreshment, making it a friendly choice if you're watching your waistline. Green tea usually contains caffeine, however, which may cause restlessness, anxiety and upset stomach in large doses -- or even in moderate doses if you're sensitive to caffeine. This tea is rich in polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants that help improve your health and keep disease away.
The EGCG antioxidant present in gunpowder green tea fights against free radicals, thereby inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. The flavonoids, catechins and minerals present in this tea improves your metabolism too.
The polyphenols and antioxidants in gunpowder green tea have a general impact on the immune system that revitalizes the body's defenses and prevents infections, such as the common cold and flu, as well as more serious pathogens that we’re exposed to every day.
A number of factors combine in gunpowder green tea to aid weight loss efforts, including caffeine, catechins, and theanine. These three work together to give the metabolism a boost, which increases the body’s ability to burn fat efficiently. There are also some appetite-suppressing qualities of caffeine that can help you avoid overeating and snacking between meals.