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"Melon Seeds" Lu An Gua Pian Green Tea



A young monk once asked the wise tea master Lao Cha:

Shifu, the whole night, you were restless, turning from one side to another, from one to another. What were you dreaming about?

– Tonight, in my dream, I came up with a new tea called “Lu An Gua Pian” – Mellon Seed Green Tea. This tea will be green and fresh yet sweet and a bit smoky. Making this tea will require lots of work – it has to be roasted for only a few seconds, but over sixty times. That’s why I was so restless at night, making this tea. But trust me – it’s worth it. This tea will become one of China’s most famous!


One of China's top ten teas, Lu An Gua Pian Green Tea, is unique. What differentiates it from most other green teas is the sweet taste overlaid with an almost smoky, spicy tang. It has the green teas' signature vegetal taste, but the grassiness is not overbearing.

Lu An Gua Pian is not an early spring tea. Instead of plucking the earliest spring buds, Gua Pian makers wait until the buds mature and unfold. Only then will they get individually picked. They use only the pure leaf for this tea — no stems, no buds.

Once the tea leaves are withered a bit and become pliable, they are fired in woks to stop the oxidation. During the final step — the fire drying, the leaves get roasted directly over a wood fire. The use of an open fire is a uniquely vigorous step. It is physically demanding for the tea makers, who must move the tea leaves over the fire for only seconds at a time. Once the tea roasts for a few seconds, it is briefly lifted off to cool. Then the process is repeated. Altogether, this on-and-off drying requires about sixty repetitions.

All of these factors and techniques put together result in this seriously complex green tea. Some say that Lu An Gua Pian was originally designed for the political elite of China, though this tea is rather a rebel among green teas. Some of the avid lovers of Lu An Gua Pian include empress Cixi and Zhou Enlai. When Henry Kissinger visited China for the first time, it was precisely Lu An Gua Pian, that he got as a national tea gift from his Chinese hosts. This craft tea is worthy of the precious historical and cultural heritage of the skilled tea makers of Lu'an.

Lu An Gua Pian first appeared during the Qing dynasty. A legend tells a story about a local tea master in Lu'An. He picked the tender leaves from the green tea he purchased, removed the stems, and started selling it as a new product. It was a huge success. Information spread like wildfire, and so did the orders for the new tea. So, the owner hired more tea workers and started producing the same tea according to the new method. He named it "Fengzhi" (meaning peak wings). His success inspired other tea shops to remove the stems and buds from the fresh leaves. Soon, the new tea has taken over the entire region. Ever since it has retained the characteristic shape of a sunflower seed. Another typical feature is its strong flavored profile, unusual for green tea.


  • Place of Origin: Qiyun Mountain, Lu An, Anhui Province, China
  • Altitude: 500m
  • Harvest Date: May 2021
  • Picking Standard:  no buds, only leaves
  • Aroma: Refreshing and brisk
  • Taste:  Distinctive sweet taste overlaid with an almost smoky, spicy tang.  Mellow and long-lasting sweet finish.
  • Varietal: Lu An small-leaf


Brewing guidelines:

        175℉ / 80℃ 

1g per 60ml   3-5min

     1g per 25ml   5sec + 5sec for each subsequent infusion

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