It doesn’t have to be fireworks night to appreciate Gunpowder Tea benefits. This is a year-round delight, an infusion of unparalleled character and charm, a cuppa that never ceases to impress. While its name might sound explosive, in reality, every sip offers harmony in mind, body and soul. We will be exploring its ability to achieve just that in the following article, so please keep reading to find out more. 

Once you’ve discovered the facts, you can brew up for yourself with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company - the best Gunpowder Tea UK supplier. Our family-run business, since its establishment in 1982, has taken pride in packing its products fresh to order, thereby ensuring quality and consistency. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: Now is the time to learn about a truly remarkable Tea.

Types of Gunpowder Tea

What is Gunpowder Tea?

There are no mistaking Gunpowder Tea leaves when it comes to their unique and somewhat strange appearance. Workers create them by rolling these leaves, alongside young buds, into small, round pellets resembling lead shots used in early muskets. It could be the reason why Gunpowder Tea is so named. However, no one appears to know for sure why, exactly, it is called as such. 

The Chinese call Gunpowder Tea “zhū chá”, meaning “Pearl Tea” or “Bead Tea”. Its English name, meanwhile, allegedly derives from an English port clerk who once described how the Tea’s pre-brewed appearance looked like gunpowder. Another suggestion is that it stems from the Mandarin Chinese phrase “freshly brewed”, which, when spoken in its correct dialect, sounds like the English word “gunpowder”.

History of Gunpowder Tea

History of Gunpowder Loose Leaf Tea

Contemporary historians mostly agree that Gunpowder Green Tea originated from the Zhejiang Province of China during the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE). Even today, Zhejiang remains one of the most important Chinese provinces for its production. Other regions renowned for the Gunpowder Tea manufacturing process include (but are not limited to) Guangdong, Anhui, Hunan and Fujian.

In the mid-19th century, about 100 miles from the southeast coast of mainland China, the island of Formosa (present-day Taiwan) began creating its own Formosa Gunpowder Tea. The industry, kick-started by a British merchant and entrepreneur named John Dodd (1839-1907) and his associate Li Chunsheng, proved to be an immense success. It remains as flourishing as ever.

Nutrition and Antioxidants

Gunpowder Tea Nutrition and Antioxidants

Its history, while fascinating, isn’t the primary reason why people choose it. More critical to health-conscious individuals, perhaps, are the antioxidants in Gunpowder Tea. Antioxidants are a natural form of defence in the body, existing not only in Tea but in many other nutritional foods and drinks. Their role is to combat free radicals, which are unpaired - and unstable - electrons that cause oxidative stress. 

Oxidative stress, in turn, is a process that triggers cell damage and increases the risk of several chronic conditions such as heart disease, cognitive decline and diabetes. A variety of environmental factors can cause it, from smoking to drinking to pollution to even sunlight. But antioxidants can partly neutralise the threat by fighting free radicals and ultimately slowing the natural, though harmful, oxidation process. 

No antioxidant is as capable as Gunpowder Green Tea and its EGCG content. EGCG (short for Epigallocatechin gallate) provides your cuppa with its distinct green colour and flavour. It likewise promotes weight loss, improves skin health, aids digestion, boosts immunity, and enhances cognitive function - to name a mere few of its outstanding and well-documented medicinal qualities.

Benefits of Gunpowder Tea

Gunpowder Tea Benefits

A quick recap: You know the answer to, “What is Gunpowder Tea?” You also know the basics of what Gunpowder Tea is good for. What remains to be seen is proof of its potential. After all, it’s all fair and well reading that your favourite infusion improves your life in small yet significant ways. It’s another thing altogether to have the evidence to back the claims. This is what we’ll move on to now. 

The rest of our article will be dedicated to examining Gunpowder Tea’s health benefits in-depth, supported by the latest scientific studies. Additionally, we will talk you through the side effects that sometimes occur following its consumption. For the most, though, it is good news, indeed news that will impress casual drinkers and connoisseurs alike when they put on the kettle.

Gunpowder Tea for High Blood Pressure

1. Gunpowder Tea for High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of force that the heart needs to pump blood around the body. It is calculated in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) through two figures called systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. The former is the pressure of your heart pushing blood out. The latter is the pressure your heart needs when resting between beats. The ideal blood pressure is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg. 

But where do Gunpowder Tea benefits come into the equation? An American-Danish collaborative study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology & Biochemistry has the answer. It discovered that its antioxidants, including Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), relax the muscles that line blood vessels. There are other ways that it can support cardiovascular health, although we’ll discuss them later.

Skin Benefits with Gunpowder

2. Gunpowder Tea Skin Benefits

Your skin is your largest organ, and, as a result, it needs ample care and attention to keep it looking healthy. The issue, of course, is that blemishes and other problems can get in the way of your skincare routine, whether it’s acne, irritation, sunburns or something else. You’ll be pleased to hear, then, that Gunpowder Tea benefits support your exterior as much as your interior wellness. 

Preliminary research from 2012 shows that EGCG boasts potent anti-inflammatory properties that can treat swelling and redness. Meanwhile, according to a 2016 Swiss study, topical application of the Tea reduces sebum secretion, which can cause acne. And that’s not all: A 2013 study found that it moisturises the skin and decreases roughness after 15-30 days of topical application.

Gunpowder Tea Help with Digestive

3. Does Gunpowder Tea Help Your Digestive System?

Talking about your digestive health can be as uncomfortable as the issues themselves. Countless people quietly experience acid reflux, bloating, cramping, flatulence, inflammation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome during or immediately after meals. There doesn’t appear to be an easy fix-all solution. However, the benefits of Gunpowder Tea might act as a supportive measure with one particular ailment. 

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, USA, have established that it might reduce symptoms associated with colitis, an inflammatory disorder that disrupts digestion. This is primarily because of - once again - EGCG, which hampers the signalling pathways involved in the inflammation. Now that is something to talk openly about with friends and family alike.

Improved Oral Health

4. Will Gunpowder Tea Increase Energy?

Less a benefit and more of a perk, Gunpowder Tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine - a stimulating chemical compound renowned for providing an energy boost. Specifically, you can expect about 30-mg per 8-oz cup, which, though not as substantial as Black Tea, is enough to get you out of bed in the morning. Most impressive of all is that it relaxes the mind at the same time as stimulating it. 

The reason is Gunpowder Tea’s theanine content, an amino acid that promotes alpha brain waves capable of maintaining a peaceful state without causing drowsiness. In fact, a Japanese study showed that the frequent consumption of Green Tea can reduced psychological stress by up to 20%. In other words, your cuppa is the perfect balance between energy and chilling out. What could be better than that?

Gunpowder Tea for Weight Loss

5. Is Gunpowder Tea Good for Weight Loss?

Gunpowder Tea for weight loss is an excellent choice for at least two reasons. For starters, it is a low-calorie infusion - specifically about two calories per serving - making it a suitable alternative to sugary and fatty soft drinks. (It tastes better, too, but that’s beside the point!). Maybe more importantly, drinking it frequently can have a stimulating effect on your metabolism. 

According to a study published in the Journal of Health Science, the abundance of EGCG in Gunpowder Tea helps boost the metabolism of fat cells. Doing so enables your body to burn fat quicker and more efficiently during exercise. More interesting still is the fact that the research points to it burning calories while you rest as well. That’s right. By drinking a cuppa on the sofa, you could be losing weight!

Reduced Risk of Type II Diabetes

6. Can Gunpowder Tea Help with Diabetes?

An estimated 29.1 million people live with diabetes in the United States alone. Globally, between 85% and 90% of those with the condition have type-2 diabetes. This involves the pancreas not functioning to its total capacity, meaning it cannot produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose levels in the body. With insulin too low and glucose too high, there is an increased risk of complications. 

According to a 2006 Japanese study, participants who drank up to six cups of any Green Tea had a 33% lower chance of developing type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, its ability to promote weight loss and increase energy, particularly during exercise, could help as obesity is a leading cause of type-2 diabetes. Please note, though, that it won’t work miracles; sadly, there is no cure for diabetes.

Gunpowder Tea and Immune System Health

7. Gunpowder Tea and Immune System Health

New statistics suggest that 75% of populations in the UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, South Korea and the US experience stress every day. Stress can affect not only our mental wellbeing, but also our physical health. When left unaddressed, stress can negatively impact one’s immunity, as well as sleeping patterns, sex drive and digestive system health.

All Gunpowder Tea varieties, including Black, Green and Oolong, can provide a much-needed boost. In these Teas, an amino acid called L-theanine can promote alpha brain waves. In turn, these brain waves relax the body and the mind without causing drowsiness.

A 2009 study conducted at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine showed that the frequent consumption of Green Tea, in particular, reduced psychological stress by up to 20%. This is in addition to the fact that, put simply, there is nothing better than sitting on a sofa with a nice, hot cup of Gunpowder Tea after a stressful day!

Gunpowder Tea Lower Cholesterol

8. Does Gunpowder Tea Lower Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance in the body. So-called “good” HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is beneficial because it takes the “bad” LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol out of the blood, thus preventing it from building up in the arteries. The trouble is when there is too much bad cholesterol, often due to lifestyle choices such as fattie foods, not exercising enough, and being obese. 

Enter Chinese Gunpowder Tea health benefits, as supported by a meta-analysis from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The research established that the Tea considerably reduced total cholesterol, including LDL cholesterol, in the blood. Interestingly, despite the decrease in “bad” cholesterol, “good” cholesterol remained almost entirely intact - a remarkable win on all fronts.

Side Effects of Gunpowder Tea

Gunpowder Tea Side Effects

Unfortunately, having extensively explored the Gunpowder Tea benefits above, it’s time to recognise its potential side effects. These predominantly come about from the infusion’s caffeine content, which, in excessive quantities, can lead to jitteriness and sleeplessness. Furthermore, it could cause nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, headaches, migraines and heart palpitations in rare circumstances. 

Should you experience any of these problems, or any other Gunpowder Tea side effects, it is paramount that you seek medical consultation. First and foremost, The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company cares about the welfare of its customers. We will always urge you to take the advice of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals over the health benefits referred to in our article.


There you have it: Gunpowder Tea benefits and side effects in full. All that’s left, it would seem, is to buy Loose Leaf Tea from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. We stock several varieties, including Gunpowder Temple of Heaven, Formosa Green, Pinhead and Black Gunpowder Tea. Each one has something extraordinary to offer from the very first to the very last sip. 

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.