When I first tried the Taiwanese Bi Luo Chun, I was impressed. This is the second Taiwanese green tea I have tried, and it is good stuff. I cannot recall I tasted vegetal, floral and fruity notes in a single tea, and this tea managed it. Despite its oxidation level, which is 0%, its flavours resemble a light oolong, and this is due to its cultivar.
This tea was made in early spring (mid-March) from the Qing Xin cultivar which is known for its floral aromas and used mostly to produce a high-grade Oriental Beauty. Qing Xin is famous for floral oolong lovers. Still, the tea farmers do not favour this cultivar as it is not as resistant and fruitful as other cultivars which were scientifically selected. This also means that the yield from this cultivar is not as high as the others.
Gan Zhi is a sub-varietal of Qing Xin cultivar which is used to make Oriental Beauty Oolong. This tea was crafted by true masters who handpicked the leaves and handled them as little as possible through rolling and drying to keep their delicate and fresh aromas. The leaves also kept their colours which indicates high-skilled processing.
Overall, it is tasty green which provides a unique complexity of fragrances and tastes. I can drink it every day.
Origin: Nantau, Mingjian, Taiwan
Harvest time: 2019
Leave colour: Shades of green with occasional white fuzz
Liquor colour: Clear yellow-green
Tea aroma: Vegetal
Tea taste: Mellow and refreshing with floral, fruity and vegetal notes
Steeping/brewing: Steep in 80°C water for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves a few times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: Up to 24 months (fresher the better)