This is the second tea I ordered from Teavivre (the other being Yunnan Dian Hong-Golden tip) and overall, the second Liu An Gua Pian I’ve ever had (my first one was the small sample that comes in Teavana’s Forbidden Kingdom tea gift set). While I did enjoy Teavana’s offering, I’m always trying to compare their quality with other vendors and boy, I was not disappointed with this one.
The dry leaf of this tea is very pretty, long and tubular, these richly green colored leaves were all perfectly preserved and almost identical to each other. This tea has a hefty green aroma, like if you were walking among trees during the summer.
I brewed this tea according to the suggested brewing guidelines of 175F water and 1-2 min brew time in a Gaiwan.
I brewed this tea twice. My first cup was brightly green with a light grassy aroma. The tea has a very nice sweet flavor, slightly grassy, and a heavy mouthfeel with a slightly smoky/spicy finish. To be precise, the taste reminds me a lot of Japanese green teas, like a more flavorful and heavier bodied sencha. My second cup was even better than the first, as all the flavors were slightly more pronounced.
I was amazed with the wet leaf. In this department, the tea reminded me a lot of Pouchong, as in the way how the leaves slowly unfurled in to perfectly shaped leaves. After my first infusion, the leaves were still slightly curled up, meaning this tea had still a lot more to offer. After the second infusion, the leaves unfurled completely into perfectly shaped bright green leaves. They’re so attractive to look at, you might think someone grabbed some leaves from a nearby tree and just placed them in there.
When I first had Liu an Gua Pian, I was very pleased with its flavor and Teavivre’s offering was even better. Like I said, It is similar in taste like that found in Japanese greens, but with a unique Chinese twist. I would greatly recommend this tea.