Updated: May 4, 2020
This was a special tea for me not only because it is a tea from this year but also it is possibly the first Taiwanese green tea I have ever tasted. The dry leaves smell very fresh and floral with no hints of grassy notes. I was also impressed by the taste which was subtly grassy and faintly sweet. The infused leaves were so silky that I brewed it a lot of times as I wanted to get most out of this classy Bi Luo Chun.
The name of this tea translates as “Fearful Fragrance” which was given by the Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. Originating from Dongting Hill in the Jiangsu Province (a coastal town in the north of Shanghai), Bi Luo Chun is now produced in many provinces in Mainland China including Guizhou, Jiangxi, Sichuan and Fujian. Also, the very existence of this tea proves that Bi Luo Chun is also made in Taiwan.
Characteristically, during processing traditional and top-grade Bi Luo Chun is rolled into a spiral shape showing fuzzy white-green leaves. It is also said that processing 500 g top-quality Bi Luo Chun requires around 60,000 buds. This tea came as loose-tea containing mostly young leaves. However, there were also buds and their visual manifestations were in the form of occasional white fuzz on the dry leaves.
The tea cultivar in Taiwan crafts a very limited amount of Bi Luo Chun so I consider myself lucky for trying this tea. I enjoyed the full-bodied yet delicate flavours of this tea, which encompassed both some grassiness and sweetness but nicely balanced. Next time, I’ll brew it at a lower temperature as recommended by the seller to see whether I can taste any umami notes.
Source: Hong Li, Tea and Tea Set, China Intercontinental press, World Culture Books
Harvest time: 2020
Leave colour: Tones of green and occasional white fuzz
Liquor colour: Pale yellow
Tea aroma: Floral and fresh
Tea taste: Full-bodied with hints of sweetness and grassiness
Steeping/brewing:You can use around 80°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many 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)