First of all, I would like to call myself a real tea lover. I have been drinking tea since I was a bady. I drink tea everyday. In my home town, tea trees are everywhere and villagers drink tea since they were babies.
Lu An Gua Pian is special. It is one of the best Green tea, one of the top ten teas in china. It held the longest history (it started to be famous since Tang Dynasty) and it held the longest tribute tea in chinese history (Lu'an Guapian was collected and served for emperors in ming and qin dynasty, almost 600 years)
Lu'an Guapian is from my hometown, in Jingzhai County (originally, it was a part of Lu An County) in An Hui province of China. So it is called Lu'an Gyapian.
In the most famous novel “A dream of Red Mansions" , Lu'an Cha was mentioned more than 30 times. It was considered a popular drink for high classes in Ming and Qin Dynasty. It is unique because it is processed using only the leaf part (without the bud). The history records showed that Lu An Cha was famous since Tang Dynasty. In Lu Yu's Cha Jing (first ever book on tea) describing it as a "Superior Tea". It is unique also because it is the only tea which is produced in the northern part of Yangze river (all the other teas are from the south part of Yangze River, the Long River)
In my hometown, there was a small town called Mabujie (it was famous for its Linen, tea ), it was the business center in that area. In Qin Dynasty, the emperor assigned two officers to take charge with special things for emperors and other high class officers in Anhui province, one was in Huizhou, another one was in Mabujie. Mabujie was a small town with around 50 thousand people. But the businessmen went there from all of the country as well as from the centrial government. It had a Tower built in Tang Dynasty and it was destroyed in the war with Japenese. That days, the small town became the temperory capital of Anhui provinve and Japenese army conquered it afterwards.
When communist got the power, it planned a resevour there and Mabujie was covered by water from 1960s. Even so, the tea is still welcome by chinese people. In the spring time, my village, and other villages in that area, were full of businessmen and tea lovers who trade Tea there. It was like a huge market .Every family in local area in my hometown hired around 10-20 helpers to collect tea.
Recently, china's economy is booming. and it also bring negative part to its culture and tradition. In spring time, families could not hire helpers anymore because young fellows go to cities and work full time in factories. The tea trade was seriously affected and the tradition fade out.
When I visited my howetown in recent years, I feel really sorry about the one of the best products in china and started to introduce this to my friends.I helped them to buy Lu'an Guapian and happily, they almost start to love it at their first sip.It is very hard to buy one becuase of the small amount of producing