In my previous post I shared with you some background information on Liu An Gua Pian .
The Dry Leaves…
The dry tea leaves were a verdant green (the color was a deeper green than a lot of Chinese teas), open leaf style and with a slight curl. The dry leaf aroma was both very vegetal and nutty at the same time, with layering notes of green beans, spinach, and chestnuts. Sweet and vegetal without being annoyingly clashing!
I brewed Liu An Gua Pian the Chinese Gongfu method using my gaiwan. Although you could brew it in a small clear glass to enjoy looking at the tea leaves while drinking. I used 3 grams of tea with 110 ml of water. The water temperature was 185 degrees Fahrenheit. I can’t emphasize strongly enough the value in steeping this wonderful leaf carefully. Being a single leaf manufacture, and with its surface area fairly exposed, it will scorch easily if blasted with boiling hot water inadvertently.
I rinsed the leaves first and they became even a richer green. The aroma of the wet leaves was rather complex – notes of toasted sesame seeds, green beans, asparagus and lychee. My first steep was for 30 seconds. The brewed leaves appeared to be all whole leaves, showing a fresh, bright and even green in color. When I touched them with my fingers, the leaves were thick but soft and elastic. The liquor was a lovely, bright yellowish green. This initial steep was sweet with notes of lychee and honeysuckle at the front, then with nicely vegetal notes of asparagus and green beans. It was complex and very light. The second steep was for 60 seconds. The taste was still light, but now it had more vegetal and herbaceous tones. Started out with a bit of asparagus and the sweet lychee, then faded to hints of sage and cooked spinach? The third steep was for 90 seconds. The aroma was fairly faint. There were notes of spinach and lychee still, but it was mostly vegetal and discreet. The taste was not faint however – a perfect blend of spinach, lychee, green beans and sesame seeds. It had a slightly dry finish, but it was still very refreshing. I could have steeped another cup for 90 seconds, but I didn’t. In the end it was complex and full, with a wonderful soft flavor and long finish.
Liu An Gua Pian provides an intense and crisp floral aroma, a rich complex flavor, and a light vegetal sweetness with no grassiness or bitter aftertaste. It definitely stands out among all green teas and is a must-try for anyone who likes green tea. This tea is an excellent find for those looking for a unique green tea with more character. A great tea you don’t want to miss! My rating is a 4.
All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:
- Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
- Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
- Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
- Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
- Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase)
Next… Mote Spoon