Gua Pian Tasting Notes


Gua Pian – Ben Cha (Stupid Tea)

Gua Pian’s general profile is grassy, toasted, and slightly savory, with a sugary body and mouthfeel (but not actual taste). Due to its unique picking style — Gua Pian uses only full leaves, no buds or stems — generally the second round of picking, rather than the first, includes the leaf from the head bud (since the head bud usually needs more time to develop). Though the first pluck is always the most expensive due to its rarity and market desirability, there is consensus among Gua Pian connoisseurs that the second round of picking, which includes the leaf of the first bud, tastes better. The earlier the picking time, the more tender the taste.  With picking times later in the season, the taste becomes more substantial and the mouth feel rougher. By the time it reaches mid spring, the tea usually becomes a little more astringent, with quite a kick. However, no decent tea should be unpleasantly bitter.

Because (in theory) all the enzymes are killed in green tea during the heat treatment, this is a tea best consumed fresh, usually within the year it is harvested. From the 2nd year on, value of a tea without active enzymes starts to diminish and the tea has a noticeably peppery taste to it.

To learn in detail about why the second picking of the Gua Pian is better, watch this video shot on location at Qi Shan. You can also read more about Gua Pian in our blog post or listen to a podcast with Shunan Teng and Talking Tea's Ken Coen. If you missed our gua pian subscription, you can purchase it to try at our online store

This months packages are
Tea Club:
Gua Pian, Early Spring 2014
Gua Pian, Early Spring 2015
Gua Pian, Mid Spring 2015 

Premium Club:
Gua Pian, First Pluck 2015
Gua Pian, Early Spring 2015
Gua Pian, Mid Spring 2015

 

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Tasting Answers:
Tea Club
#1: Gua Pian, Qi Shan Lu An. Early Spring 2014
#2: Gua Pian, Qi Shan Lu An. Mid Spring 2015
#3: Gua Pian, Qi Shan Lu An. Early Spring 2015

Premium Tea Club
#1: Gua Pian, Qi Shan Lu An. Early Spring 2015
#2: Gua Pian, Qi Shan Lu An. First Pluck 2015
#3: Gua Pian, Qi Shan Lu An. Mid Spring 2015

Check out our Educational Tea Club page to see everything this subscription includes.