Friday, April 18, 2014

Teavivre: Bi Luo Chun, A Tea Review

Another beautiful day in the Midwest, really, spring time out here reminds me of the things that I like about this are, it turns out though that most places are pretty in spring. I have a busy weekend ahead of me: big family gathering, candied violets to make, British flapjacks to cook myself, and of course some sort of art project. I am feeling inspired to do something crafty, just not sure exactly what yet.

Today's tea is a delightfully fuzzy green tea from Teavivre, Bi Luo Chun (or Pi Lo Chun, depending on dialect) from Mt Dongting in Jiangsu Province. The translation of this tea is Green Snail Spring, referring to the curly shape of the leaves. The aroma of the dry leaves is sweet and fresh, blending artichoke and lychee with a delicate hint of floral at the end. This tea smells like nature in springtime, bringing in the notes of fruits, flowers, and vegetation. It makes my nose happy.

Into the basket the fuzzy little leaves go for a nice bath. Sadly this means the fuzzies go away, such is the fate of tea leaves. Holy Lychee, Batman! The wet leaves are so sweet and fruity that it is nothing short of mouthwatering. There is also a touch of artichoke and hay, giving the tea a more vegetal quality at the end of the sniff. The liquid is mild with delicate notes of artichoke and sweet lychee, floating on the top of the tea are the fuzzy trichomes.

The taste is quite delicate (that seems to be the key word with this tea) with a sweet citrus taste reminiscent of lychees. There is also a very mild hint of nuts that fades to a green bean vegetal taste. Of course the trichomes tickle the inside of my mouth making me giggle when I sip the tea. This tea is very mild and refreshing, it reminds me of spring rain.

Giving the tea a second steeping (we meet again curly leaves!) and I notice the aroma of the liquid is much sweeter and heavier of lychee. The taste is also sweeter, instead of being reminiscent of lychees it actually tastes like lychees. There is also a surprising note of violets, and almost no vegetal taste. As the tea cools it gets even sweeter and floral. This tea did not really wow me in taste, but it certainly wowed me at how delicate and nuanced it is. I find this is a tea for special occasions with nuanced tasters, sadly I served it to a bunch of non-tea drinkers and they thought it had no taste. Tragic. At the time of writing these tasting notes in my tea-journal I did not yet have a gaiwan, I am curious to try this tea again with a gaiwan and see how much of a difference it makes.

1 comment:

  1. This tea sounds delightful to me. It is the perfect sounding tea for when you do want that light delicate tea.

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