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Lu'an Guapian Green Tea


A velvety smooth and vibrant green tea, delivering clean energy and intrigue through ecological garden management and its exceptional traditional processing by our favorite rebel tea producer Dasha of Huoshan.

Lu'an Guapian, one of the classical "Ten Famous Teas of China", is an unusual green tea delicacy hailing from Jinzhai County near Lu'an and Huoshan in western Anhui province.  瓜片 guā piàn can be translated to "melon piece", as the curled tea leaves resemble the skin of squash variety regional to Lu'an.  Unlike the vast majority of other teas, Guapian does not include the terminal bud or conjoining stems that are typically harvested intact as a set for tea production.  Instead, Guapian features only leaves allowed to grow past its furled bud state, making a uniformly leafy tea, considered unbecoming and visually drab by some.  Also noteworthy is the use of traditional brooms during the wok-firing step, so that the the leafy nature of Guapian is able to be curled into its distinctive rolled shape by the bristles of the straw broom.  Adding to its homely and unconventional appearance, it is natural for this broom-wokking step to create blistering on the leaves.  Modern mechanized versions have proliferated the export market, identified by a uniformity in the leaf size and how it's machine-rolled into a straightened signature cigar shape.  Traditional versions like Dasha's will look more rough, uneven, bent, and overall less uniform.

To cure the tea and accent aromatics, Guapian will be finished with a flash charcoal bake, where producers will transfer a basket of suspended Guapian leaves over embers, jostling the leaves around to ensure uniform baking between each 5 second exposure.  This back and forth takes place up to 150 times.

Bound by these production roots to maintain the oddball showcasing of large leaves without buds, Guapian seems impervious to modern market trends that can influence conventional greens to sport prettier, bud-heavier looks made from newly-developed quicker-flushing cultivars that can often displace older varieties in established gardens.  Because of it's leafier nature, Guapian can't be hurried to get harvested before the Qingming festival (April 4th); it's typical harvest window is the ten days before and after the start of Guyu Grain Rain (April 20th) depending on elevation and cultivar.  This built in resistance to so many of the modern trends that dictate the green tea market has made for an ideal style for the stubbornly tradition-abiding tea producer Dasha to master, and with this tea the two have obviously found a complementary match in one another.

The result: a superbly clean and fragrant green with ample sweetness and mouthfeel with a bit mellower of a body hit (remember that caffeine mostly is found in the unfurled buds).  Due to the uniformity in the leaves, the brew action on Guapian is worth dialing in to your tastes, as it can deliver equally uniform responsiveness in its steeping.  Start quicker and hotter at 90-94°C to pull out aromatics and if you're okay with a bit of a bite, start steeps longer and lower at 80-85°C if you'd like sweeter with more umami and mouthfeel.  Experiment.

Dasha harvests raw materials for her Guapian from 生态 shēngtài ecologically managed gardens at 独山 dú shān in Jinzhai County (between Lu'an and Huoshan) east of the Batcave Guapian area at an elevation of 680 meters.  The cultivar is Dushan small leaf variety.  This tea was harvested April 23rd, 2024.

Check out the tale of our fortuitous meeting of Dasha in this YouTube video and be sure to also try her fantastic wild yellow tea.

(1 customer review)

One comment on “Lu'an Guapian Green Tea”

  1. This tea is a gift and a treasure.

    I mostly drink tea for the energy it brings me, though the flavor of this tea can not be separated from that, and is incredible, like if the love of morning chores in a dewy pasture could be a flavor. For me this tea is incredibly vital, that’s the main feeling that I get from it. When drinking I felt the most beautiful feeling of hope and appreciation rise up in me and my friends and I felt that a gift beyond what money can buy had been given to my body. Tea can be quite draining on my energy especially when brewed a few times but this green has a deep richness to it. My tongue went numb it was so strong and not in the way that the astringency wicks moisture but in that the tea itself was so healthy and vibrant it was like an energetic shock for my body in the best way like getting the qi with an acupuncture needle. The passion I have for this tea is boundless please support these tea makers for the good of humanity.

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