First cup. Steep 2.5 minutes.
This green tea comes in the japanese style with no buds – only leaves – similar to one of my other favorite green teas from the An Hui province, the Green Monkey King. However, the taste of Melon Seed is drastically different. While Green Monkey King bears a more toasted flavor, Melon Seed is much more delicate. The scent of the actual tea has a kind of light buttery quality like hazelnut or white chocolate and the taste is very mild. There is an arid sweetness to it though that blossoms at the back of your tongue the more you drink. Perhaps similar to what an actual melon seed might taste like. The tea leaf has a slight peppery essence after it is steeped, which adds subtle complexity underneath the otherwise pure flavor.
Liu An Guan Pian - Melon Seed (Standard)
Liu An Gua Pian is one of the best Green tea to come from Liu An County in An Hui province of China.This is no small feat considering An Hui is renowned for producing a variety of high quality green teas since the Tang Dynasty.
Liu An Gua Pian is also a China’s Ten Famous tea and was winner of the China Tea Award in 1982 and China Food and Drink Award in 1988 for its superior refreshing taste and quality.
Gua Pian is unique because it is processed using only the leaf part (without the bud).
The history of Liu An Gua Pian dates back to the Tang Dynasty,where records where found in Lu Yu’s Cha Jing (first ever book on tea) describing it as a “Superior Tea”, and it was also a tribute tea in the Ming Dynasty.
Other names: Liu An Melon Seed, Melon Slice
Origin: Liu An County, An Hui province of China
The floral taste and aftertaste of a strong cup of Liu An Gua Pian is a reminiscence of Tie Guan Yin tea.
The pleasant floral sweetness of this tea gradually fills your mouth.
The aroma is fresh, high and long lasting. The taste is mellow, sweet and refreshing.
Unlike other premium quality Chinse green teas, Liu An Gua Pian is made only using the tea leaves and no buds at all (similar to Japanese green tea).
Liu An melon slice is curled at leaf edge and rich green in color with white frost on the surface.
As you can see in this last picture, Liu An Melon Seed leaves are big—much like oolong leaves.