6 Surprising Benefits of Gunpowder Green Tea

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

There are many benefits to drinking gunpowder green tea which may include preventing chronic disease, soothing arthritis, stimulating the metabolism, aiding in weight loss, preventing tooth decay, protecting the heart, lowering blood sugar, and improving the appearance of the skin, among others.

In terms of side effects, drinking an excessive amount of green tea can increase your risk of developing kidney stones, and due to the rather high caffeine level, it can be damaging to the nervous system and may induce anxiety when consumed in large quantities.

What is Gunpowder Green Tea?

Gunpowder green tea is a particular variety of green tea from the Camellia sinensis plant that is prepared slightly differently and therefore may have unique properties and health benefits. The leaves are rolled into tight, small pellets, resembling the old style of gunpowder pellets, which can explain the name. This preparation seems to allow the leaves to retain far more of their nutrients, possibly including a slightly higher caffeine level than other green teas. Some high-quality gunpowder green teas can be stored for more than a decade, plausibly without losing their potency or flavor. The color of this tea is slightly more yellow than other “green” teas, and the flavor is smoky, earthy, or even metallic, at times. There are a number of varieties of gunpowder green tea, but most seem to provide similar health benefits, due in large part to the polyphenolic compounds, and perhaps also the catechins, and alkaloids in the leaves. [1]

Health Benefits of Gunpowder Green Tea

You should drink gunpowder green tea if you suffer from obesity, diabetes, fatigue, chronic disease, indigestion, colds, flu, infection, and high cholesterol as it may help in improving some of these conditions.

A cup of tea surrounded by gunpowder tea

Gunpowder green tea is helpful in weight loss. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

May Help In Digestive Issues

The catechins found in nearly every variety of green tea can have a direct effect on inflammation, possibly both in the gut and in other parts of the body. If you are suffering from ulcerative colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloating, cramping or any other inflammatory condition in the stomach, a cup of gunpowder green tea might serve you well! [2]

Might Help With Chronic Disease

Probably, being fairly rich in antioxidants is what has made green tea such a revolution in the natural health world. Many of the active compounds in gunpowder green tea can help to neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, meaning that it may have the potential to prevent chronic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and degenerative cognitive diseases. [3]

May Boost Energy

The caffeine content found in gunpowder green tea can make it an excellent energy booster, particularly for those who want to avoid the acidity of coffee. The preparation of this type of green tea can give it an even higher caffeine content than normal teas, albeit perhaps not as high as a standard cup of coffee. [4]

Can Aid In Diabetes Management

While it was not shown to affect any significant HbA1C changes, green tea could help lower fasting blood glucose levels. The polyphenols could also protect against diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy. [5]

May Help Improve Heart Health

Studies have shown that the antioxidants found in green tea are able to lower bad cholesterol that can lead to plaque deposition, atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Perhaps by thus rebalancing your cholesterol levels, you can relieve a lot of stress on your cardiovascular system. [6]

Can Help Improve the Immune System

The polyphenols and antioxidants in gunpowder green tea may have a general impact on the immune system that revitalizes the body’s defenses and can prevent infections, which may include the common cold and flu, as well as more serious pathogens that we’re exposed to every day. [7]

May Aid in Weight Loss

A number of factors combine in gunpowder green tea to aid weight loss efforts, which may include caffeine, catechins, and theanine. These three can work together to perhaps give the metabolism a boost, which may increase the body’s ability to burn fat efficiently. There also seem to be some appetite-suppressing qualities of caffeine that can help you avoid overeating and snacking between meals. [8]

How to Make Gunpowder Green Tea?

You can easily prepare gunpowder green tea at home using nothing more than rolled-up gunpowder tea leaves and hot water!

A cup of tea surrounded by gunpowder tea

Making A Perfect Cup of Gunpowder Green Tea: Easy Recipe

Gunpowder tea leaves are processed and prepared in a specific area of China. Several good brands are available online, in Asian stores, as well as in specialty tea stores. 
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Tea
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Gunpowder Green Tea
Appliance: Saucepan, Tea Strainer
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Steeping time: 1 minute
Total Time: 4 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Raksha Hegde


  • 2 tsp gunpowder green tea pellets
  • 8 ounces water filtered


  • Bring the water up to a boil.
  • Remove the water from heat and allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes (target temperature = 165 degrees F).
  • Add the pellets to a ceramic teacup and then pour the water over the pellets. The pellets will quickly begin to unroll into longer tea leaves as soon as they come in contact with water.
  • Allow the mixture to steep for at least 60 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture, or leave the unrolled pellets in the water for an even stronger brew!
    A cup of tea surrounded by gunpowder tea
  • You can also brew the gunpowder green tea in a teapot. The longer the tea leaves brew, the stronger the tea. So make sure you either strain the tea before adding it to your teapot or have the tea as soon as possible. 
    A woman pouring tea into a cup

Gunpowder Green Tea Side Effects

The side effects of drinking gunpowder green tea can include higher chances of anxiety, gastrointestinal troubles, and kidney stones, as well as insomnia. However, when green tea is consumed in moderation, most of these side effects can be avoided.

  • Anxiety: The caffeine content of gunpowder green tea is higher than all other green tea varieties, which means that it has more of a stimulant effect on the body. For people who are sensitive to stimulants, anxiety can be a side effect, particularly if more than 2 cups of this tea are consumed each day.
  • Sleep Issues: As with any caffeinated beverage, gunpowder green tea can prevent you from falling asleep, due to the stimulating nature of the chemical. If you struggle with insomnia or frequently disturbed sleep, or if you are sensitive to caffeine, avoid drinking this tea in the afternoon or evening.
  • Stomach Problems: There are limited reports of gastrointestinal distress following the consumption of gunpowder green tea, and much of this is likely due to the presence of caffeine, which can cause indigestion or discomfort, particularly when consumed on an empty stomach or in excess.
  • Kidney Stones: Research has shown that drinking too much green tea can increase your likelihood of developing kidney stones. However, limiting your intake of this tea to 1-2 glasses per day should protect you from this risk.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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