Part IX of X in a series on classic teas you need to taste
Origin: Liu An, Anhui Province, China
- Hunter green
- Twisted or rolled scroll-like toward the leaf’s main vein
- Sweet, green aromas of clover and spinach.
- Light yellow-green
- Light body with low to no astringency or bitterness
- Light aromas of sourdough bread, chamomile, and/or asparagus
Liu An makes the list of tea classics for several reasons.
First, it was frequently listed as one of China’s treasure teas. There is no “official” listing, but Liu An Gua Pian did reach the status of an Imperial Tribute Tea that was offered to China’s emperors. Best information about this tea indicates that it can be traced back to the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD).
Second, it makes a great “gateway” tea to other Chinese greens. The tea is quite forgiving in its ability to take abuse without creating a bitter cup. A neophyte can learn to steep with loose leaves and not become overly concerned with ruining his/her cup.
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