Supreme Liu An Gua Pian * Melon Slice Tea

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Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by teaddict
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160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Supreme Liu Au Gai Pan from Dragon Tea House This is a pouch that sat sealed for many months as I worked my way through too many other teas bought around the same time. I've been trying to be...” Read full tasting note
    51
    teaddict 311 tasting notes
  • “言巴相差 in YiXing GaiWan, 1st at 30sec I'm tasting a very vegetal and fresh gua, little bit of green tea taste showing up already. 2nd 1:00 my favorite steep so far lots of freshness and extreme...” Read full tasting note
    Gregory 35 tasting notes

From Dragon Tea House

Liu An melon slice is the literal translation for ‘Liu An Gua Pian’. This tea is in lamellar shape that resembling the seeds of sunflower, hence named ‘melon seeds slice’. The name ‘melon seeds slice’ is now simplified as ‘melon slice’.

The fresh tea leaves picked to produce melon slice are much different from that for other famous teas. After plucking one bud with two or three leaves from the tea plant, the producers separate the full-blown leaves from the tender leaves in time. Following that, both leaf tip and stalk are cut from the full-blown leaves. So each single leaf of melon slice has no bud nor stalk. Carefully groomed leaves are then pan fired at a slow bake over a charcoal fire and frequently turned to impart a delicate hint of smokiness. Li u An melon slice is curled at leaf edge and rich green in color with white frost on the surface. The aroma is fresh, high and long lasting. The taste is mellow, sweet and refreshing.

Rank 7th in The 10 Most famous Chinese teas. This tea has a history from Tang dynasty (about 1,300 years). The original producing area for Gua Pian is Qi Tou Shan mountain which located in Jin Zhai county. At present, Liu An county has developed as the biggest producting area, while the best Gua Pian is still from Jin Zhai County.

Our Gua Pian is directly from An hui with superb quality. Long and narrow emerald-green colored tea leaves about 2 centimeter in length. The floral taste and aftertaste of a strong cup of Gua Pian is a reminiscence of Tiguanyin tea. The pleasant floral sweetness of this tea gradually fills your mouth. Very refreshing and helps digestion. One of our best teas, recommended.

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2 Tasting Notes

51
311 tasting notes

Supreme Liu Au Gai Pan from Dragon Tea House

This is a pouch that sat sealed for many months as I worked my way through too many other teas bought around the same time. I’ve been trying to be more disciplined about my green teas the same way I have about my greener oolongs and senchas, not opening a bunch at once and having all degrade significantly before I finish them, but despite being sealed, this one may have suffered for it.

The leaves are a deep green, darker than the average long jing, but also more or less long, thin, and while not completely flattened, not curly either. The scent is reminiscent of fukamushi sencha—sweet, deep, vegetal, with a hint of cucumber. Tantalizing!

4.8 grams in my Petr Novak iron-rich kyusu this morning, preheated, and now the aroma of the heated leaves is more like sweet peas.

Flash rinse with filtered tap water about 180 degrees: not much there in the wash. It’s not that there aren’t hints of deliciousness, but it really is super dilute, even for my tea-wimp’s palate. With that in mind, I’ll do the first infusion proper longer, perhaps a minute.

1 minutes, 150 degrees: sweet peas, vegetal, but an astringent finish, that reminds me of an overcooked vegetable.

30 seconds, 180 degrees: went hotter and shorter to try to bring out the sweet over the overcooked vegetable taste, and didn’t quite succeed.

I’m not sure if this unpleasant vegetable flavor is related to the heating of the leaf during processing, or is due to the tea sitting too long before drinking, but it definitely is something I recognize and dislike in many green teas. It is not present in the bag of dried leaf, but comes out as soon as the leaf hits the preheated brewing vessel, before it’s even wetted.

I’m going to switch to a porcelain gaiwan, in case that makes a difference, and will prepare it with a cooler start. The flash start is something I read about in a blog a few months ago, and it’s really been lovely with long jing and Gu Zhu Zui Sun, so I thought I’d try it here, but perhaps this tea does not want it.

2 grams in small porcelain gaiwan, infusions about 75 mL water.

145 degrees, 30 seconds, a little better in flavor profile—brought out more sweetness, but too light from the short infusion.

I’ll stick with 30 seconds next infusion, because the now-wetted leaves will give more in this one even with the same infusion time.

30": still can’t separate the sweet flavor—and I do get the sense of melon—from the overcooked and astringent vegetable. Bummer.

160 degrees, 30 seconds: no real change.

Last gasp: 212 degrees, 30 seconds: astringency with edges of the sweetness.

It’s frustrating. It looks good, the leaf smells terrific, but I can’t make this one really pleasant. I feel like I’ve failed the tea. Oh well. Since this is a classic tea, I’ll try it again one day, but I’ll get a small sample and drink it right away to give it the best chance.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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35 tasting notes

言巴相差 in YiXing GaiWan, 1st at 30sec I’m tasting a very vegetal and fresh gua, little bit of green tea taste showing up already. 2nd 1:00 my favorite steep so far lots of freshness and extreme melon even melon seeds taste, freshly roasted cha ye dan.
3rd 50 secs it’s lively I think I have both the pan fried and the melon in perfect harmony, i’d save some room for desert by drinking this leaf and I might just have one more desert, namely this liu an melon slice.

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