Wednesday, April 1, 2009

REVIEW: Lu An Gua Pian, Tea Gschwendner


This translates something like, "melon seed tea," because its leaves are somewhat reminiscent in shape to a melon seed. I'll have to take his word for this, I guess.

Lu An Gua Pian is a green tea, spring flush. It's very mild and smooth, with a pale green liquor. The tea itself had no scent to speak of-- which surprised me, because almost all the teas I'm used to are pretty strongly scented.

I should pause here to say that I am not used to drinking green teas, because in the past they seemed just bitter and unpleasant. Now I know why: At the time I discovered teas, I didn't know what I was doing, and I was certainly steeping the greens in water that was too hot, making it taste like, well, spinach. But my boiling-water-on-leaves worked perfectly well with the black teas, and my taste buds were trained to like those. Hence now I am very attracted to the blacks, but I don't even bother trying the greens.

My mistake. It turns out, I really do like these greens. I am going to have to go a-shopping and learn how to brew these properly

Anyway, the Lu An Gua Pian is very mild and smooth, with a pale green liquor and no scent to speak of. The flavor of the tea was well defined, if a bit remote or restrained: grassy, a bit like a chestnut, like dew, like air. It has a very slightly bitter edge, which develops in the cup over time.

SIDE NOTE: HOW IN THE WORLD DO I GET SAM RITCHEY'S JOB as tea sommelier? I'm green-tea-green with envy. Shouldn't be, but am.

[NOTE: Updated to correct the spelling of Sam's last name.]