Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Liu An Gua Pian

In addition to the TaiPing HouKui I bought from JK Tea Shop, I also bought a sample of their LiuAn GuaPian.

This tea is supposed to be shaped like a melon seed, as its translated name suggests.
Personally, I cannot see the resemblance.

The tea is quite a vibrant green, and probably one of my favorite shades of the lovely color.
Visually, this tea is very appealing. The leaves are in uniform shape and size for the most part, and one can tell that time and effort went into producing this tea.

The aroma of the dry leaf hinted a vegetal sweetness, not quite unlike the TaiPing HouKui.
A creamy scent arose from the package as well.

Lime is present in the liquor. A cold menthol (mint, camphor, cooling) feeling was present as the tea made its way down.
The vegetal sweetness in the aroma had morphed into more of a string bean type vegetal in the liquor.
The astringency had quite a presence on the tongue and on the sides of the mouth, although this could have been part of the cooling feel aforementioned.

The second infusion was disappointing.
My notes read; "Tastes...fake. Bean flavor still present."

I do not know how to accurately describe how a tea would taste "fake," but that is what I felt.
I believe this mostly to be an operator error on my part, because the third infusion was much better after a tweaking in brewing parameters.

3rd infusion;
beautiful tart, vegetal sweetness.
I felt that the third infusion was well balanced in terms of how the flavors should be matched and the levels at which they should present themselves on the palate.

Much enjoyed for several more infusions.



  1. I cannot see the resemblance to melon seed either, I guess no one actually can. There even is a theory that "Melon seeds" is just a bad, distorted translation, which became popular all over the world, similarly to Shui Hsien, which is widely known as "Water faery" though it actually means something completely different - "Narcissus", if I remember right.
    Very nice review and enjoyable pictures, keep it up!

  2. Michal,

    I could see how that theory would be very plausible in this case. Direct translation can be very difficult and confusing!
    And thank you for your compliments =]

  3. A tea that should be drunk only on the 3rd infusion?

    And for the bean flavour, I think it is funny as when I saw the pictures, they reminded me of a sort of bean I ate in Belgium (which are called princess beans (this is a direct translation from French)).

  4. Ice,

    Not necessarily only on the third infusion.
    It just depends if you prepare it right. For my tastes, the second infusion was below par I believe due to how I brewed it.
    And goodness! So instead of a melon seed, how about a Belgian bean? haha