Lu An Gua Pian (六安瓜片) originates in Anhui Province of China. The name translates as Lu’An Melon Seed, the city of Lu’An being the origin of this fine green tea. This tea is considered to be one of the best varieties from the Anhui Province, which itself is one of the best tea growing regions of China. It is one of the famous Chinese Green Teas and is featured extensively in Chinese tea history.
The Melon Seed name comes from the fact that the processed tea leaves resemble a melon seed shape when brewed and fully flat and open. In this sense it is also a little unusual among Chinese teas as only the leaf is used in processing (without bud). This results in a very laborious hand processing technique making this tea very special indeed.
This Lu An Gua Pian green tea has large and very neat green leaves with an emerald tint in appearance. Once brewed, it produces a bright liquor with a smooth, light, refreshing vegetal taste and a sweet aftertaste. By vegetal, we of course mean fresh spring greens rather than overcooked cabbage! If you brew this tea somewhat stronger, it has a resemblance to lightly oxidised oolong teas from China and Taiwan but is still lighter in flavour.
This tea is best brewed at 80c for 2-3 minutes in multiple infusions, gradually increasing the steeping time.
Lu An Gua Pian is a green tea that you should try drinking cold. Brew to your liking, decant to a glass bottle and store in the fridge until ready to drink!