With the spring weather I’ve been bringing out green teas more due to their light, fresh, clean flavours. One of my favourite green tea discoveries has been Curious Tea‘s Liu An Gua Pian (Chinese: 六安瓜片; pinyin: Lù’ānguāpiàn), which roughly translates to Liu An Melon Seed.
Before I dive into the tea, here’s a look at what Curious Tea offers in their subscription boxes. Each month you receive 2 varieties of tea, in generous 50g sizes. The company offers a ‘light’ tea subscription, and ‘dark’ tea subscription which is nice if you lean towards one side of the spectrum. You can also ask for a mixed type – 1 light and 1 dark, which is the one I received here. The package labels helpfully provide information on the origin of each tea, as well as brewing instructions. There are also separate cards for each tea that you can write your tea tasting notes on, especially helpful if you have a lot of tea and like to remember how each differs from the other.
This is one of China’s well-known teas – not as famous as say, Dragonwell (Long Jing), but still widely popular. The leaves are plucked from the second leaf, so they tend to be larger, vs. many other teas that get plucked from the bud and first leaf.
The name Liu An Melon Seed was coined because the leaves have a flat-ish shape that resembles melon seeds. The colour is a nice rich dark green colour, a bit more green in real life than this picture shows.
Once brewed, the liquor is a light yellow colour similar to other Chinese green teas, with a light toasted aroma but mostly dominated by the taste and flavour of steamed vegetables – if my senses aren’t deceiving me, the tea actually smells quite like Chinese greens (‘yu choy’ to be specific). Its a great tea that I wouldn’t mind pairing with noodles or fried rice because of that freshness that would help offset a greasy meal. The fresh yet savoury taste of the vegetables taste is why I’d prefer it for savoury, Asian-style meals rather than a greasy brunch of eggs/bacon which would likely overwhelm the lightness of the tea.
I also cold brewed this one overnight – 1 tsp of leaves, in a mug of room temperature water that was then refrigerated overnight. It turned out quite refreshing and light, not unlike the bottled unsweetened green teas you get in Japan.
Overall, a light refreshing tea that brews up nicely whether cold or hot.
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