Friday, May 1, 2015

Teavivre: Bi Luo Chun Green Tea (Pi Lo Chun) Spring 2015, A Tea Review

Happy May Day! Or Beltaine if that is your Holiday of choice, regardless, 'tis the first of May and the weather is wonderful. Though I celebrated a day early and did not go out frolicking in the morning dew like I should have today. I did my nature-ing yesterday, over-did it a bit, so today I just lounged in my comfy clothes tasting teas and reading fellow tea-blogger's posts. Alas, I have only scratched the surface, having lagged behind on my reading.

Today is the final day of my little Teavivre Spring 2015 Green Tea feature, and I am wrapping it up with the delightfully fuzzy and curly Bi Luo Chun (Pi Lo Chun) Green Tea. This Green Snail Spring was harvested on April 8th, 2015 on Dong Ting Mountain in Jiangsu Province. The plantation this tea is grown on is peppered with fruit trees, in theory imparting the tea with a fruity aroma and taste, and maybe the fruit tastes more like tea? The aroma of the curly leaves is indeed a bit fruity, with notes of lychee, but there are also notes of water chestnuts, sesame seeds, tomato leaves, and a finish of gentle lettuce notes. Subtle sweetness with hints of vegetal and nuttiness, a mild aroma overall.

Brewing the tiny leaves, really they are quite delicate and fluffy, I am afraid a strong breeze will carry them away! The aroma of the soggy (and less fluffy) leaves is a blend of tomatoes, lima beans, okra, and with an undertone of sesame seeds and lychee. The liquid is very faint, not a ton of aroma notes wafting up with the steam, just gentle notes of lychee and honey, and a tiny touch of sesame.

First steeping! My favorite part of drinking fuzzy teas is of course the trichomes, I love those ticklish fuzzies on my tongue, such a delightfully fun feeling. Some people insist on always straining out the fuzz, but I never will. The taste is super mild, but with very strong notes, specifically notes of lychee and sesame at the first, moving on to okra and snap peas, and a gentle finish of sesame seeds at the finish that lingers on for a bit.

For the second steep the aroma is still pretty mild, with notes of snap peas and lychees with a gentle not of sesame again. The taste starts off with sweet peas and lychees and then pretty quickly switches to the savory with notes of tomato and green beans. Lastly the tea finishes off with a lingering note of okra and snap peas. I steeped for a third time, but it was much diminished, which was tragic, just finishing notes of okra and snap peas. Bi Luo Chun is a very mild tea, one that is perfect for drinking on a warm day, which is a thing with all of the spring greens I covered this week, they are iconic for this time of year not just because it is when they are harvested but because they match the season so well!

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