Tea: Melon Seed Green (Lu'an Guapian - 六安瓜片) Type: Anhui Green Tea Harvest: Mid April 2023 Region: Lu'an, Anhui, China Producers: Wang Family Tasting Notes: Toasted Oats, Cinnamon, Nettle, Daffodil
Guapian is a type of green tea that has survived in roughly the same form since antiquity. These wok-fried leaves are large, natural, and a little ugly. Guapian has been one of China's top ten teas for hundreds of years, and the methodology behind this tea is very unique, featuring whisking the leaves with a hand-held straw broom in a wood-fired wok. This processing creates the iconic wabi-wabi leaf shape iconic to the Guapian, or Melon Slices.
As this tea consists of larger leaves, there is very little 'mingqian' guapian made in Luan. The tea is thick, rich, and delivers a powerful cup of tea without too much bitterness. This is a great tea for those that want a little force in their green tea selection, and are not afraid of some big ugly leaves.
The brews start off very vegetal, but get sweeter and creamier as the session progresses, and even gets positively floral by the final infusions.
We recommend brewing this tea in a gaiwan (2.5 grams to 100ml water with flash infusions) or in a tall glass grandpa style (3 grams to 8 oz of water with a death steep).
If you're curious about Grandpa-style brewing, check out our YouTube video about it!
If you'd like to know more about how we sourced this tea, and the people behind making it, check out our podcast Tea Soup, particularly, the dragonwell episodes