Gua Pian 六安瓜片
Qi Mountain, Lu An
Toasted and savory with a thick sugary aroma.
Gua Pian is a green tea made only from the leaves with no bud. This gives it its round vegetal flavor. See the other processing steps that make Gua Pian Special.
Gua Pian comes from the Da Bie Mountain Range and is one of China's famous teas. During the Qing Dynasty (1644－1912), Gua Pian was a Tribute Tea to the royal court, which meant that both the processing technique — the method for crafting the tea — and its specific terroir — the region where the tea is grown — was highly documented and defined. You guessed it: the historical terroir of this tea is the city of Lu An, in the province of An Hui. Ever since the Tang Dynasty (618-907), tea from Lu An has been noted by tea connoisseurs and has appeared in numerous poems and novels.
Though the name comes from the city, "Lu An tea" refers to the teas that are produced in its entire jurisdiction. Throughout history, Lu An tea has taken many shapes and forms, but it reached its height when, during the Qing Dynasty, this tea evolved into the sunflower-seed shape we now know as Gua Pian and obtained the Tribute Tea status. Gua Pian is one of China’s Ten Famous Teas, which is an official status in China. (Another well-known Lu An tea is Huo Shan Huang Ya, which we will cover in the future.) Lu An also has a historical but “peasant” style tea called Lan Cha or An Cha, and like Pu Er, is being rediscovered by tea lovers in China.