Because I tasted 7 teas during Spring break, I didn’t really find the time to do some extra tea sessions with the teas that were included in Curious Tea’s February subscription box. I’m slowly getting things done now and I brewed the green tea earlier this week: Lu An Gua Pian. This particular batch is from April 2018 and was grown at an altitude of around 600m above sea level.
Lu An Gua Pian
When one talks about Chinese green teas, Lua An Gua Pian is almost always mentioned. It is well-known not only in China but it is seen as one of the main green teas from China. The name itself refers to the location where the tea is grown and the shape of the tea leaves. The tea is grown in Lu’an City Prefecture in Anhui Province. The first part of the name simply refers to the tea’s origins. The second part ‘Gua Pian’ refers to the shape of the tea leaf. After brewing the tea and looking and the flat and open leaves, one can see the shape of a melon seed. The translation of the name of this tea is melon seed tea from the city of Lu’an. In English, one generally uses Melon Seed (green tea) to refer to this tea.
If one looks at the dry leaves, the shape immediately catches the attention. Long and rolled leaves that have a relatively dark green colour.
The colour of the wet leaves is a brighter green and they are rather large in size.
- Water 80°C
- 10g of leaves for a 200ml Tokoname Kyusu
- 1 rinse
- 6 steeps (15 sec + 5 seconds each steep)
Smell dry leaves
Light almond nuts in combination with some notes of hay as well. I’m also getting a bit of buttery spinach.
Smell wet leaves
More spices but mainly vegetal and green. Also very light almond nuts and spinach. It smells like Spring in a teapot.
1st steep: this steep is mainly vegetal in combination with a smooth creaminess. Some light spices in the aftertaste. I’m getting a little sweetness as well.
2nd steep: mainly vegetal again but I’m also getting some light umami. The vegetal flavours are dominating this steep. A little sweetness in the aftertaste.
3rd steep: the vegetal flavours are less prominent and I’m getting a sweet creaminess this steep. Very smooth and delicious steep. It’s creamy with some light nuts to it.
4th steep: only light vegetal notes this time. A creaminess that is very sweet. This steep is also a bit astringent and the creaminess is not as creamy as it was during steep 3.
5th steep: pleasant almond nuts and some subtle notes of spinach.
6th steep: I’m getting some of the creaminess again but it’s only subtle this time. Some light notes of spinach as well. These notes are more prominent than during steep 5.
Before even drinking this tea, I knew it was going to be a delicious tea session. The smell of the leaves was amazing. It started out as a vegetal tea but quickly changed to sweet and creamy steeps. I was also getting some almond nuts, which worked perfectly. Later on, the creaminess was the dominant flavour and spinach notes even appeared at the end. In general, this is a delicious green tea that makes you long for those warm Spring days.
This tea is available via this link.