Liu An Gua Pian green tea

Tea type
Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Autumn Hearth
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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From Teavana

Part of Teavana’s Forbidden Kingdom Tea Collection, containing 8 Imperial Reserve Teas, considered part of the “Top 10 Teas of China”. The literal English Translation for the tea is Liu An Melon Seed, or Liu An Melon Slice. The Tea is grown in the Liu An County in the Dabie Mountains of China’s Western Anhui Province.

The tea got its name from the shape of the processed tea leaves. They are flat and oval, resembling a melon seed. In early spring the tea growers cut off the end of the tea tree branches and use the second tea leaf and not the bud, as in most teas. Each leaf’s central vein is cut out and the leaves are pan fried over low heat. During the frying stage, the leaves are shaped into the melon seed shape.

This tea’s recorded history goes back as far as the Tang Dynasty. It was recorded in the Luyu’s famous book The Classic of Tea. It was also recorded during the Qing Dynasty as being the ultimate Green Tea and it was the subject of many poems. This tea has been enjoyed by China’s leaders for centuries. During the reign of Emperor Guangxu, the Empress Dowager Cixi believed that LiuAn Guapian was necessary for her diet and would drink the tea on a daily basis. The finest tea was delivered to The Forbidden City as tribute. Premiere Zhou Enlai loved Liu An Gua Pian Tea and on his death bed asked for a cup of the tea. On Henry Kissinger’s historic visit to China in July of 1971, he was presented with a gift of Liu An Gua Pian Tea leaves.

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5 Tasting Notes

1353 tasting notes

Public Service Announcement: Anywhere that it says ‘lemon’ in the following, I mean ‘melon’. It’s surprisingly hard not to write ‘lemon’ instead and I’m not sure I’ve completely managed to avoid it or caught them all.

This is another green tea that Autumn_Aelwyd shared with me, and like the one yesterday, I’m brewing it twice in one go. One Western for the boyfriend and one short steep for myself.

On the first steep, I get a slightly spicy, melon-y aroma with a note in it, and this is going to sound really odd, smells like the texture of fur or shaggy carpets. Synesthesia, I ♥ you. I’m trying really hard to think of a word to describe the note in a way that people who aren’t me will be able to understand, but I’m failing spectacularly. It’s a pleasant smell, though, so let’s just leave it there.

The flavour strikes me as just ‘default green’, at this point though, and a bit watered out, in spite of the fact that I used more leaf than I would have because otherwise I’d have had too little left to bother keeping. It’s slightly astringent and again a bit melon-y. There’s just not enough melon in it that I can be sure I’m actually tasting it and that it’s not just because I’ve been influenced by reading about the name of the tea, which means something with melon slice or melon seed.

The second cup still smells like new carpets. I can even find that rubbery bit on the back. Still a little spicy, but the melon note seems to have gone.

It’s far more intense in flavour now, and definitely has a melon note somewhere mid-sip. At first I’m getting grass and vegetation, and then the melon shows up alongside and lasts until the swallow. I even get the same sort of astringent feeling in the mouth as from eating melons. It also has a wee bit of a bite near the end of the cup like it has steeped just a split second too long.

I think so far my ideal would have been somewhere in the middle between the first and second steep. Hm. Right.

The third cup is actually quite like that middle thing I was wishing for above! The aroma is the same, but the taste is quite melon-y. I definitely think I’m detecting melon notes here and not just because I read about the name. Nice.

My fourth cup smells like grass. No more carpets or fur here. The flavour is a bit weak and watery and quite chalky. I’m getting a hint of melon underneath, but it’s quite subtle. I don’t really like this steep much, so I’m pressing straight ahead.

The fifth cup is not quite so chalky, and we’ve got that melon note back again, along with something that has reverted back to ‘default green’. It’s honestly not particularly interesting at this point, so I think I’ll stop here.

Also, I’m rather ready for something else.

This has been one of the more subtle ones of the green teas that Autumn_Aelwyd sent me, but also one of the ones I think I’ve liked the best. I think it’s that melon-y-ness, although I would have liked to have seen that a bit stronger. Actually, apart from a black tea (I think it was) bag, I don’t think I’ve had melon flavoured tea, and I think it might be a fun flavour to do in a green or in a greenish oolong. This one gave me a hint of what that might be like, and I thought it was a flavour that suited the ‘default green’ rather well.


shag carpet?!? lol Shades of the ’70’s Did it have sideburns?


Haha shag carpet. Very interesting =)

Thomas Smith

Gua Pian (“Melon Seed”) refers to the shape of the leaf before rolling or after it unfurls. I get honeydew skin notes on it pretty frequently, though.

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300 tasting notes

Incredibly deep emerald leaves that smell of candied flowers and rain yield a pale green cup with a sweet thick mouth feel. This is closer to Gyokuro than any Chinese greens I’ve tried and has a bit of chalkiness to it that calls to mind Matcha. However this feels darker, deeper and cooler. There is no warm butteryness to speak of, though there is certainly quite a bit of veg. Second steep was slightly bitter as it strained too slowly, but really wasn’t that bad. Third steep held up to veggie pizza and is really, really reminding me of matcha, odd.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

Rain! RAIN! I think that’s my carpet and/or fur smell!

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45 tasting notes

Green tea. With slight bitterness.

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16 tasting notes

Lovely, savoury, roasty smell. Taste has the same savoury edge, a little vegetal, but fairly mild. Noticeably dry feel, though. Second steep is much lighter flavour and more typical green tea, with a sweet melon note, and the savoury quality only coming at the end of a sip. I like the smell more than I like the flavour, and second steep was underwhelming, but it’s still very nice.

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3 tasting notes

The aroma is very pleasing and interesting – more savory than sweet. The flavor is very smooth, even though I over-steeped it a bit. No hint of bitterness. The color is very light, more yellow than green. I tend to favor senchas, but this might be my new favorite.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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