Bi Luo Chun is a type of green tea that comes from the mountains of Dongting in the Suzhou province of China. Bi Luo Chun, also known as Pi Lo Chun, is grown amongst apricot, pear, plum and peach trees in a seemingly utopian climate. Because of this, the tea leaves absorb the fruit blossoms’ lovely scent.
The youngest leaves and buds are harvested in the spring with the unopened bud and one leaf. Once harvested, the fine, tender buds are processed entirely by hand. The three-step process includes picking, sorting and roasting.
1) Picking: The tea is only harvested once a year, in the spring-time, as early as March. The picking step is somewhat tedious since each picking requires both one unopened bud and one leaf.
2) Sorting: The leaves are then sorted by hand, one by one. This step helps to remove any low-quality leaves. Bi Luo Chun should consist solely of young tea buds and leaves and nothing more.
3) Roasting: The last stage is an approximately 15 minute roasting process, which kills enzymes and stops the fermentation process.
Once completely processed, Bi Luo Chun should have developed a natural cover of baby white hairs. The presence of the baby white hairs can be considered a sign of great quality.
When purchasing Bi Luo Chun tea, you should notice that the leaves have a gorgeous, vibrant green color and are uniquely shaped. The shape may resemble little curly snails or spirals, which when poured into hot water (for brewing) move around beautifully. You can watch the dance of leaves by brewing the tea in a transparent glass container, instead of porcelain cups or kettles. Once brewed, you’ll find that the tea leaves produce a full-bodied, floral aroma with a sweet, lingering taste.
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