Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Taiwanese Bi Luo Chun

Sanxia (三峽) (sometimes spelled Sansia and San Hsia) is located roughly 20 km southwest of Taipei, Taiwan. This area produces quality green teas in both longjin (龍井) and bi luo chun (碧螺春) styles.

Last spring, my friend Israel sent me a generous sample of Tea Master's San Hsia Bi Luo Chun harvested March 15th 2012. Since that time, I have enjoyed several sessions with this green tea but I thought I had better post about it here on my tea blog (for the sake of posterity) before I drink it all up.

It doesn't look like its mainland cousin but it sure is a lovely tea.

I used a 100ml gaiwan, 2 grams of dry leaf, and freshly heated (not boiled) 160° F spring water. I did three infusion with these parameters. Each infusion was 2 minutes long. For the first infusion I left the lid off the gaiwan, but the next two were covered.

The tea poured a beautiful yellow color with a delicate buttery aroma that reminded me of steamed greens or artichokes. It also yielded very subtle ocean mist and wild flower aromas.

The flavor is different from the aroma. It is elusive but somehow compelling too. I find it to be a little bit nutty and a little bit grassy with gentle notes of cashews, sugar snap peas, vanilla and marshmallows. This tea is tasty and refreshing but if I'm having one of my "serious green tea cravings" (which happens quite often) it usually won't completely satisfy me because it is just too smooth and mellow.

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