What is Green Tea?
Green tea is the oldest form of tea as a standalone beverage. Its processing method, history, and culture are unparalleled by any other tea in Chinese history. From the Han Dynasty (202BC－220AC) to the abolition of pressed tribute teas by the Hong Wu Emperor (Zhu Yuan Zhang) in 1391, green tea was tea. Even after the emergence of five additional categories of tea, green tea remains the most studied and refined tea of China, offering us a glimpse of tea as an extravagant form of art since the Han Dynasty.
History of Lu An Gua Pian
Origin: Qi Shan, Lu An, An Hui Province, China (~250-500m elevation)
Gua Pian is frequently mistranslated as “Melon Seed,” because as individual words, Gua means “melon” and Pian means “seed,” but in Chinese, the two words in combination are used to refer to the sunflower seed, not the melon seed. This name, “Sunflower Seed,” is most likely a reference to the shape of the freshly picked leaves. Gua Pian is the only Chinese green tea made using only leaves, no buds or stems.
Gua Pian is umami, buttery, and creamy with a soft sugary undertone. This complex tea offers dynamic possibilities with varied brewing methods. When shaken vigorously, the tea will foam up and yield a super creamy texture. The comprehensive profile of umami, grassy, floral, and gentle sweetness remind one of a combination of matcha and gyokuro.
From China's Top Terroir
Gua Pian comes from Lu An, one of the oldest tea-making regions in China with over 1000 years of tea-making history. Still, Gua Pian itself has only existed for around 100 years. Because of the region’s long history, the true origin area for Gua Pian is larger than that of most historically famous teas.
Mid Spring 2018 Taste
We find this mid-spring vintage to be particularly creamy with big, tranquil sugary undertones.
Share Our Passion
If you love this guided tasting, join us monthly with our Educational Tea Club! We deep dive into two teas a month over Zoom. You'll be able to participate live and ask question and taste the tea together with our community.
What You'll Need
To get the most out of this session, we advise having a gong fu brewing set up ready to brew along with. A Gai Wan, Fairness Pitcher, Strainer, and Three Sip Cup are recommended.