Lu An Gua Pian (Grade 2): Tao Tea Leaf

Last night I got blasted out of a deep sleep at 4:00 AM with the neighbours’ suddenly pounding music. I didn’t think you were allowed to run a nightclub out of your apartment, but I guess there are some new regulations???  So… it’s not the best start to the day, but since ‘You ARE what you THINK’ I’m going to meditate and think of all the GOOD things going on right now.

Starting with this TEA!! I opened my door this morning, to find yesterday’s mail sitting on the doorstep. I didn’t receive it YESTERDAY because…. well, that’s another neighbour nightmare story… but I’m trying to stay focused here, so anyway… I open the door, and there’s my mail! It was a cute little box of tea, wrapped up in my “Walrus” magazine “Summer Reading Issue”. WOW!!! What a match made in heaven!! TEA and READING! “The Walrus” is a Canadian magazine, and I think my favourite mag of all-time. It features in-depth articles on Canadian life, culture, arts, politics, people… everything, really… AND it always has GREAT fiction and poetry! The “Summer Reading Issue” is full of short stories that go really well with a lounge chair, a patio, and an iced-tea (spiked, if that’s your thing)!

Tao Tea Leaf and "The Walrus"

Tao Tea Leaf and “The Walrus”

Wait… where was I??  Oh yeah… THE TEA!! In the package, there are: Cream Earl Grey, Organic A Li Shan, Organic Amber Dragon/ Bai Hao,  Jun Shan Yin Zhen, and this Lu An Gua Pian (Grade 2). Whew! You would almost think I speak Chinese! I don’t know what any of those mean… except the “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot” of course. I pick the Lu An Gua Pian because for some reason it sounds like the barbecue party scene in “Edward Scissorhands” with the big red-head and the Ambrosia Salad. (I don’t know where that came from… was her name Luanne?)

I open the package and it smells like RASPBERRIES!! That’s right! Delicious, red, juicy raspberries!! This is not a flavoured tea, so any aroma comes from the tea itself. Intriguing! And look at that round rolled shape… little tubes of raspberry delight…  I wonder what it tastes like?

Lu An Gua Pian by Tao Tea Leaf

Lu An Gua Pian by Tao Tea Leaf

I steep it for about 25 seconds. It’s a nice light yellow colour. Mmm… very light. It has a mild fruit taste… like berries or currants. But it’s very subtle. I’m going to need another cup! Yes, the second cup is a bit more developed. It has just a whisper of fruity/raspberry taste. Yet, it’s so light!  It evaporates on your tongue, leaving a very clean finish. Almost like it wasn’t there! This is a very nice summertime tea. Nothing at all like artificially flavoured “berry” tea, this one is fresh, clean, light… like raspberry scented dandelion fluff! Cup #3 is still delicious, but it has changed a bit. A little more floral, mixed with the fruit. I don’t know how many infusions it will take, but it shows no sign of stopping with the deliciosity!

Lu An Gua Pian with peanut butter cookies

Lu An Gua Pian with peanut butter cookies and research

The GOOD things…  The beautiful sunny day, this surprising and delicious tea, this eagerly anticipated magazine, and the end of my research in sight…  Good! Good! Good!

BIG THANK YOU to Tao Tea Leaf  for supplying this complimentary sample!!



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