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Green Tea

My house mate brought back from green tea from either China or Malaysia that was dark green balls that unrolled to large, thick leaves when steeped and I'm struggling to find anything similar!

It didn't have the same young/grassy taste like some of the jasmine tea I've had and instead tasted quite earthy and ... green! (Sound stupid I know)

Does anyone have any pointers to what I should be looking for? When I've searched for whole leaf green tea it comes back with Jasmine Pearls which are a lot longer and thinner when steeped but these were more substantial

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    Welcome to Seasoned Advice. The pic in your question is from the Internet and comes up when doing a search for oolong tea. – Cindy Jul 22 '16 at 11:12
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In general, your description - dark green balls which unroll to full tea leaves, sounds like some variety of gunpowder green tea. It is a quite common Chinese technique, as I recall. Each pellet (also sometimes called "pearls") is a rolled and dried tea leaf, which unfurls when steeped.

However, it is difficult to get more specific than that without more information. There are several types of green tea that can be rolled into "gunpowder" form, with differing grades of tea, amount of aging, and years or growing locations (given growing conditions) all contributing to somewhat different flavor profiles. You might be able to use the terms and look to see how the information about which varieties of gunpowder green match your house mate's tea or your experiences (or your own preferences) - but without more knowledge I don't know how to pin down the same kind of tea.

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    ... just make sure you mark over the "gunpowder" label before going through airport security ... – thrig Jul 22 '16 at 14:30
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To answer the question, it would be better if you could also upload a picture of the dry leaves before steeping. Gundpowder tea could be possible, but looking at your image it seems that the edges of the leaves slightly yellowish. This could also point to an Tieguanyin oolong.

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