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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.
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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.
The process of Liu An Gua Pian is unique. It is the only kind of tea made of pure leaf –without any buds and petiole. Only use the leaves picked before the lunar term Grain Rain as material. It is not only unique, but also difficult. Picking the fresh leaf of Liu An Gua Pia takes a lot of efforts. It must have no buds and petiole; the second piece of leaf from the top is the best.
After picked, the leaves must be spread for a period of time, and then be stir-fried. Stir-frying requires high temperature. The workers’ faces turn red because of heat. Thus if they don’t have perseverance and skill, this work cannot be done. The key is to control the fire’s temperature. Workers must adjust the time of frying depends on the changing of temperature. That’s quite hard.
The roasting of Liu An Gua Pian is another unique skill among green teas. There are three steps for producing the beautiful flavor.
Three steps in roasting: first roast, second roast (light roast), third roast. The door and window must be locked tightly. These 3 steps are the key. Especially the third step is the most difficult skill to learn in processing Liu An Gua Pian.
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.
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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I've tasted others liu an gua pian and this one is low quality. It's a "generic" green tea for every day, but nothing special.
Another sample from my last order! This is an interesting green tea. The leaves are straight, twisted (which the description says is hand rolled) and VERY emerald green. I adore the color. The scent of the leaves are very sweet. The parameters say to use three TABLESPOONS for 17 ounces but I asked Teavivre and they say that is since the leaves are so long it’s actually better to measure with a tablespoon, loosely, but they actually mean 8 grams of the leaves. I’m not following instructions but I went with three loose teaspoons for my 12 ounce mug. The brew color is a very light yellow. If only green teas were actually brewed the color of the emerald leaves, I probably couldn’t resist drinking them every day. The flavor isn’t as different as I thought it would be. It’s definitely green tea flavored, though this one is difficult to describe. A little mild but the second steep was a touch on the bitter side. I’m glad I didn’t use the three tablespoons of leaves. Otherwise it’s a little grassy, soupy, vegetal, buttery and nutty. I thought with the look of the leaves that this green tea would be a favorite, but there are other green teas I like a little more. Steep #1 // 32 min after boiling // less than two minute steep Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 3 min steep
Dry leaf: light sweet potato scent Brewed tea: Very thick mouth-feel. Dominant flavour is fresh spinach- this is quite prominent. Grassy and mineral on the finish.
Delicious tea! Got this as a five sample package I purchased from Teavivre. It has subtle flavors and I read one of the other reviews and it really does have a spinach taste to it. But it’s really light and very calming and yummy. No bitterness to it at all; just slides down the throat really easily.
This tea came in a free sample packet with one of my orders. The loose leaves are a very dark green color. It actually tastes a bit like cucumber or zucchini where it has that sort of light refreshing aspect to it, but not brisk and throaty in the same way as Zhu Ye Qing. It’s a flavor still distinguishable as vegetal, but very different from say something like broccoli or romaine lettuce. I was wondering why I didn’t get any sort of smoky or spicy tang in mine like Teavivre’s site and some of the reviews discuss... and then I had the second infusion. It’s completely different from the first, and exactly how everyone described it: Primarily smoky with hints of what I would rather call botanicals instead of spices, which emerge when you hold the tea in your mouth and swish it around. When you swallow the tea, the smokiness then returns in a long aftertaste that fills the mouth either all at once or from the middle outward if you’re taking a small sip. Later as it cooled I finally did get a hint of spice, sort of pepper-like if you slurp the tea like some connoisseurs do. The third steeping then changes yet again, a significant amount of the smoke goes away, leaving almost only the botanical taste. Also of note is the fact that in the first and third steepings a large amount of flavor sort of became concentrated on the front and forward-middle of my tongue when the tea was hot. The second and third steepings I additionally left out for a while on my desk, and when they ceased to be warm I decided to chill them. The tea tastes very much the same cold as it does hot aside from the temperature change, which is far rarer than you would imagine for a lot of teas. I was really impressed with the varying flavorings I got on each infusion, a trait possessed by some of my favorites from Teavivre.
This “melon seed” tea is one of the top ten famous teas of China. As expected, Teavivre’s version has a pleasant smooth green taste. Yellow-green tea soup with a distinctly vegetal aroma. Mixed taste of grass and green beans. The smoky, floral and sweet notes add to the complexity of the tea. A tiny bit of spice was detected in the second and third steeps. For those of us who appreciate green teas, this is a fascinating tea and one to enjoy.
The aroma is quite vegetal and also quite nutty, with note of green beans, spinach, chestnut, sweet sesame seed paste (Halva for those who enjoy Middle Eastern desserts) and a very delicate finish of toast. It manages to be sweet and vegetal without the clashing, in fact sniffing this tea makes me a bit hungry. The first steep, well on the first steep all I can think is 'oh my that is sweet' I even wrote that in my tasting notebook. There are notes of lychee and honeysuckle at the front, the mid taste is nicely vegetal with notes of asparagus and green bean. The Finish is a blend of apricots and sesame sesame seeds, it is very complex and light. If the rest of the steeps are this tasty I could become addicted to this tea. I got four delicious steeps out of this tea.
I have been trying all kinds of green tea and Liu An Gua Pian was not in stock anymore till the new spring tea came out this year. I am very happy to have gotten it because the tea tastes sweet and bitter and fresh. Each tea leaf is in perfect shape and it tastes so tender too. I love this tea and it have become my favor too.
Let me quickly again sum up my feelings about green tea: not much into it. However, I am always willing to try new varieties, and have found a few that I’ve liked, not enough to make them a daily habit, but they’ve been tasty. The flat bright green leaves in the sample package of this selection had a sweet grassy aroma. I steeped them for two minutes at 175 degrees as recommended in the instructions (176 degrees was recommended, but close counts). The brewed liquid was an extremely pale golden green. The steeped aroma was very faint and slightly sweet. It took several sips before my brain and taste buds could process enough flavor information to classify it. Then, I began to discern a sort of sweet, slightly spicy, kind of grassy taste. The flavor was smooth, very light, and too delicate to produce any bitterness. This tea was pleasant to drink and may be a fine late afternoon or early evening selection, but I prefer stronger and more robust flavors. To be fair, I should also mention that we are now in peak pollen and allergy season here in South Carolina, so my tasting apparatus isn’t as sensitive as it is at other times of the year. Having said that, there is nothing at all wrong with this tea’s amiable flavors. The volume just isn’t pumped up enough for my preference. This review was originally published on Steepster by Stoo in Apr, 2013. TeaVivre has added this whole review here by getting permission from Stoo.
Reply: Dear Cassie, Thank you very much for writing to us. It is tablespoons. For teas are loose and are very big in size. So we say tablesspoon, but just 8 g teas. Hope this is helpful for your concern.
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