Zhu Cha 珠茶 gets its English name from the way it looks (small gunpowder pellets), and from the way it smells (the after-smell of a used pistol). And as such, Gunpowder tea invokes feelings of a bygone era when pistol duels were permitted as a way of settling scores.
Because of this, the Zhejiang produced tea is popular among Western men wanting a greener healthier choice of tea without milk, that retains its manly perspective in the heat of business warfare.
Piguaquan 劈掛拳 (or Piguazhang 劈掛掌, as it is sometimes called) traces its origins, by way of preceding wushu styles, on Taoist principles. This aspect makes it an “internal” martial art. While at the same time on the other side an “external” style.
This “external” part is partially due to the fact that it received high praise during the Ming Dynasty by General Qi Jiguang, as an effective method employable by soldiers wearing full battle-armour. Something that is rare amongst most other styles, which generally assume that the practitioner is a genteelied warrior-scholar able to afford a better quality of life outside of war.
Hence the relationship with Gunpowder green tea. A tea that reminds us that life isn’t just cafes and lattes. Even for the tea drinkers out there. Because as they say, business is business. And that said, business needs to be taken care of. Effective immediately. And possibly over a longer than expected period of time.
To most modern observers, Piguaquan 劈掛拳 tends to look over-extended with its movements. Suitable only for wushu competition. This is because the practitioner is not wearing full body armour as was originally intended.
But just like Gunpowder Green tea 珠茶, what is on the surface (the smell and look) is usually just a smokescreen. The over extension of limbs builds muscular tensile strength without the need for bulk - Being strong internally without appearing strong externally.
So here we are, at a teahouse somewhere, invoking the image of a black leather jacket wearing man, drinking gunpowder green tea. It might be you, or it might be someone else. The tea is easy to drink yet hard to appreciate. The style easy to learn but hard to master.