I’ve been getting around to trying all of the famous green teas of the world, but Melon Seed Green or Liu An Gua Pian is one that I hadn’t had a chance to try, until now. This tea is unlike most other Chinese green teas, in that the leaves that are picked are the larger leaves further down the stem. The leaves are then pan-fired like most Chinese greens, but then undergo a further kind of flash roasting. Being made of larger leaves also means it can’t be Spring picked but must be picked later in the season. Most Chinese greens will be picked using the bud and first or second leaves and picked in early Spring.
Now, on to the tea. This is the third of the teas I ordered from Path of Cha recently, and I followed their brewing instructions for gong fu brewing. I used 3 grams of tea, 180F water, gave the leaves a rinse, and did the first infusion for 10 seconds and an additional 5 seconds for each subsequent infusion.
The dry leaf had a smell that reminded me of Sencha, it was very vegetal and had that marine air aroma to it. The first infusion was very light in color, had a thick texture and notes of roasted vegetable. The second infusion was a little bit darker, I noted some slight astringency and a slight smoky flavor and a sweet finish. This is a very complex green tea. The flavor was very similar the rest of the way through infusion number 6. Slightly smoky, thick texture, slight astringency, with a sweet finish. This was a pleasant tea to drink and I could have kept drinking it.
Full disclosure: Out of black, green, white and oolong teas, I would say green tea is the type I enjoy the least. I’m not saying it’s ever bad, I just don’t usually CRAVE it like I do with a lot of black and oolong teas. I usually drink at least one green tea everyday because of the health benefits. So if you approach green tea as drinking a super beverage, because that’s what it is, and then you realize it’s a super beverage that tastes good too, well that’s pretty exciting stuff. There is too much green tea that is sold in bags that tastes like someone plucked some grass from their front lawn and put it in a bag. Good quality green tea can be very enjoyable and quite pleasant. This tea was pleasant.
These leaves are quite large compared to other green tea!
The price on this one is $10.00 per 1oz. or 28 grams. I used 3 grams per session, which makes 9 sessions per pouch, which is $1.11 per session. Each session is 6 cups, which is $.19 per cup. Where else can you find a super beverage that tastes nice for $.19? You can’t. All I’m saying is give tea a chance! Cheers.