Gunpowder Tea

Ancient Chinese Secret, Huh?


Even though I’ve lived in large cities most of my adult life, I haven’t embraced the cultural diversity they offered until recently. And by diversity, I mean what they consume.

A friend of mine has helped me discover Calgary’s tiny Chinatown, as well as some incredible Asian and Italian markets.

My favourite discovery recently is Gunpowder Mint tea, which is delicious and insanely cheap. You should be able to get a good-sized box of loose Gunpowder tea at any Asian foods store, or tea specialty store, for a couple of dollars. Next you need fresh mint leaves; at the same Asian foods store, a big bag of fresh mint was less than two dollars.

I don’t have a big teapot, or a tea ball in which to hold loose tea leaves, but I’ve found that my bodum works like a charm. Drop in a tablespoon of loose Gunpowder tea, a small handful of mint leaves, and about 4 tablespoons of sugar (or more or less to taste, obviously). Fill with boiling water, and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let it steep for about a minute, and then drink it. This should make about 3 cups of tea, and of course you can play with the ratios/steep time if it’s not to your liking.

It’s to my liking.

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