Liu An Gua Pian: Tea Vivre

Liu An Gua Pian by Tea Vivre

Liu An Gua Pian by Tea Vivre

I’ve been living in a black hole. Scientists will tell you that life cannot exist in a black hole. But they are wrong.

I won’t go into details, but you will see that my last tea tasting was 3 weeks ago. You see, from the bottom of the black hole, no light escapes. I could have been sitting there drinking my long spaghetti shaped tea with my long spaghetti shaped arms for the past three weeks, and you would never know because the gravity is just too strong! The gravity of my awful, intensive, test-obsessed job is just too strong. There is no escape.

But today, some extra sunlight fell into my black hole life… and then, some flowers! The first flowers of spring! The first ones I’ve seen. These are “Siberian Squill” and they are just now carpeting the floor of the ravine near my apartment. Tiny, delicate, and pretty! Black hole = less black!

Siberian Squill

Siberian Squill in Rosedale Ravine

To go along with my new-found sunlight and flowers, of course I need some tea! What goes good with a black hole??? hmmm… something green…

Liu An Gua Pian! The leaves are fine, wiry, twisted rolls, without any stems. They smell green, fresh, slightly nutty like pistachios, and slightly fruity like raspberries and cream. I love the nutty pistachio/chestnut aroma! This tea is sometimes referred to as “melon seeds”, and is one of China’s “Top Ten Teas”.

I steep it in a basket filter at 80 deg. for about 20 seconds. It smells like it’s getting really strong, really quickly, so I stop it! It smells like grass and pistachios.The flavour is smooth, mild, fresh, and nutty!  My favourite! It has a gentle sweetness… not too grassy… slightly creamy.  I probably could have steeped it 10 more seconds.

Liu An Gua Pian: Second Steep

Liu An Gua Pian: Second Steep

The second steep (60 seconds) is a little darker green (forgot to shoot the first one! Eek! So out of practice!). Ahhh, NOW I’m getting the full flavour of the tea! It’s a more intense, fresh green flavour with a little tartness like raspberries or lemons at the start. It mellows in the mouth and leaves a dry nutty finish. Again, not really grassy, or vegetal. This is exactly how I like my green tea! So fresh, nutty, sweet, and crisp! Love it!

This tea throws some light into the black hole of my life…. now… to finish the marking, and plot my escape!

BIG THANK YOU to Tea Vivre for providing this sample!

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