Liu An Gua Pian Tea
(Liu An Melon Seed Tea)
Liu An Gua Pian Tea, a Green Tea, is one of the
10 most famous Chinese Teas
. 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 is a truly elegant tea with a light and almost spicy aroma. The taste of the tea is very smooth and has a hint of sweetness to it. 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.
Left: Liu An Gua Pian growing on the mountainside
Right: A close up of Liu An Gua Pian leaves
Liu An Gua Pian has an interesting legends associated with it. In China’s ancient past, a small village was constantly ravaged by a giant monster that lived in a cave in a mountain near the village. The monster, when hungry, would race down the mountain and attack the village. It would lay waste to the village and devour the local people and their livestock to feed its voracious appetite. The villagers would rebuild and about a month later the monster would return. The Bodhisattva Guanyin took pity on the poor people and planted LiuAn GuaPian trees in front of the village. The next time the monster came to devour the locals, he was stopped by the wonderful smell emanating from the trees and was pacified. From that day on, the monster no longer bothered the village.
Left: Processed Tea Leaves
Right: Brewed Tea
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.
Visit our other tea variety pages:
Dragon Well Tea
Bi Luo Chun Tea
Huangshan Mao Feng Tea
Xin Yang Mao Jian Tea
Tai Ping Hou Kui
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