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A great find for those looking for a more green tea with more character! Like several of our other teas, Liu'an Guapian is deservedly in the list of China's top ten teas. Made only from larger, mature leaves that are rolled up during processing, the dry leaves have a distinctively plump shape to them – giving rise to its Chinese name of “melon seeds”. Very uncharacteristic for a green tea, it has a quite sweet taste and strong aroma, that is also overlaid with an almost smoky, spicy tang.
TeaVivre's Liu'an Guapian is sourced from a plantation in this teas home province of Liu'an county, and is produced using traditional manual methods. This tea’s unique taste and shape comes from it being the only Chinese green tea that is made without using any buds, new leaves or stems. During processing, mature leaves are separated out and then carefully cut by hand to remove any stems and the central leaf vein. They then undergo a lengthy drying and rolling process, resulting in its unique round shape. When brewed Liu'an Guapian has a great complex sweet taste, and a bright, emerald color to the tea.
Being made only from mature leaves, that have had more time to accumulate and form nutrients, plus it being made only from leaves, without any stems, Liu'an Guapian reportedly has the highest nutritional level amongst all green teas.
Also, as with all green teas, the minimal processing steps means that it also retains green tea's renowned high levels of antioxidants, so make it a great tea to help reduce the possibility of forms of cancer and giving it great anti-aging cosmetic benefits.
For more information on the health benefits of Green teas, take a look at our article on Tea Health benefit.
Liu'an Guapian should be brewed in water around 176 ºF (80 ºC) for around 1 to 2 minutes. You can usually get about 3-4 infusions out of this tea before it will loose its flavour.
For more information on some of the skills and arts of brewing tea, check out our article on How To Make Tea.
Our Liu'an Guapian is from the home area, Qiyun Mountain in Liu'an Country, Anhui. Farms are on the high slopes of the area, all above 1,500 ft elevation (500m) surrounded by natural forest and high mountain peaks.
This Liu An Gua Pianis from Mr. Kong who have been engaged in tea field for more than ten years. He focus on providing high quality teas to tea lovers all over the world and always produces more and more natural, safe and healthy teas including the Green tea we choose : Tai Ping Hou Kui, Huang Shan Mao Feng, Xin Yang Mao Jian and Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing).
Mr. Kong elaborated his feeling about the tea culture: Tea Culture is a general concept which is different for people in different area. Although it is complex but there’s one thing that can be sure, that is the same as manage the enterprise, tea culture also needs management along with its quick development in the modern world.
According to the owner of the farm where this tea is grown, whose family has been in the area for generations, Liu'an Guapian started life in about 1905, when a local tea master from the Liu'an Tea Shop purchased some larger tea leaves, then innovatively removed the stems and stalks and made a new type of green tea from just the resulting cut down leaves. It was then an immediate success, which inspired all the local tea farmers to produce a tea in a similar fashion. In the following years the current involved rolling and pan drying process evolved, giving rise to Liu'an Guanpian's distinctive plump shape and complex sweet taste.
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The raw leaves are beautifully green and thinly rolled. For the most part they are still intact with little to no damage and no stems/sticks are present.
They have a beautiful spinach and perfume floral scent that is quite thick yet sweet.
Once steeped this tea is yellow in colour and has a sweet, vegetal aroma.
Flavour is thick and vegetal (broccoli, spinach) and also rather grassy. There is also a sweetness like peony.
Still very thick and vegetal but the sweetness has toned down. It has a buttery tone that makes it easy to drink and it defines the spinach flavour beautifully.
Gentle now and refreshing. Less vegetal and more floral. Toned down from the first steep but still left with enough flavour to be pleasing.
Overall it's a very nice thick, vegetal green tea. Very similar to the Organic Hangzhou Tian Mu Qing Ding Green Tea - Teavivre.
This tea (2012) struck me as a lighter version of Dragonwell. It is very smooth and has subtle vegetal undertones, with no trace of bitterness. It's hard to justify the much higher price, however.
I had the opportunity to taste this tea as a Teavivre sample. It struck me as a lighter, milder version of Dragon Well. (The sample of only 5 grams may have been too little for an 8-ounce brew.) Overall, a nice, subtle tea, although a bit pricey. Thanks for the sample.
The scent of the dry leaf reminds me of a fresh summer field. The leaf is long and plump. From the description I was expecting a strong grassy green. Instead the sip is like buttery beans. Maybe creamy is a better word. This is definitely classic Chinese green tea in flavor.
There is no bitterness, and no harsh edges. The longer you sip the sweeter it becomes. It has a healthy drying affect on the tongue. Strangely, the aftertaste disappears rather quickly.
On the second cup I immediately caught a nice amount of a spicy almost floral taste. Though familiar, I couldn’t pull a name for these notes out of my brain today. Let’s just call it tasty. The second cup seems less creamy and more ocean or mineral. As the cup cools it is tasting a little peppery.
Thank you TeaVivre for the sample. This is another very nice cup.
This review was originally published on Steepster by K S on February 12, 2013. TeaVivre add this whole review here by getting permission from K S.
I really like this tea. I think it has a good balance of flavor and bitterness. I feel like this could become my everyday green tea.
This is a really nice tea! It is my first liu an gua pian, but compared to other Chinese green teas I would say that its more mellow. It reminds me quite a bit of a Taiwanese oolong.
Profile: Liquor is a pale yellowish green. Aroma is mildly vegetal. Taste is mildly vegetal as well; fresh green beans with a hint of smokiness. Aftertaste is brief and clean. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly drying to the tongue, without any bitterness.
Other notes: One could compare it to Dragonwell, though it is thinner and without nuttiness. Also worth noting is that I detected no spiciness or sweetness, which is contrary to other reviews.
Verdict: An inoffensive cup, but not my preference. The complexity of flavors simply wasn't there, and while it is bolder than some other Chinese greens, still too mild for me.
I had bee buying this tea from another vendor. The Teavivre tea seemed to be fresher, more uniform, and had a smoother, cleaner taste.
This tea brews to a medium yellow/green color. It has a stronger flavor than most Chinese teas. The taste is a bit grassy, somewhqt like many Japanese teas. This can be a nice change of pace when you want something with a bolder taste.
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