In a number of ways, Bi Luo Chun - Green Snail Spring - embodies much of what is wonderful about the spring tea harvest. Perhaps no green tea cups to the rich flavors of the season as this one. Ours is a first-grade leaf harvested in a pluck in the first week of April before the Qing Ming holiday. Timing is critical as these prized bud sets must be plucked at just the right time and then processed by entirely by hand. The plucked leaves are small and delicate, as a result processing can be very challenging. Our lot was made in April 2020. Lot #1.
The weather in southeastern China this spring was nearly perfect for early teas resulting in a wide selection of greens into the tea market. For this year's lot, we selected one more to the green side as it offers a wonderful sweetness. The leaves are small, elegant in classic spiral shapes. The lot offers a nice mix of light-green leaf and soft-white bud. Aroma is well-balanced and fresh. In tasting, we found this lot held a special flavor that captures the fresh notes of early spring. Once plucked and processed, these leaves cup to a rich, vegetal almost broth-like. It is one of the true "vegetal" tasting Chinese greens. It steeps to a cloudy cup color, yet its liquor taste is clean. Harvested in April 2020. Lot #2.
This tea is one of China's Famous Teas. This lot was picked pre-Qing Ming. Procssed entirely by hand. It is pan fired. As the leaves unfurl, they will spiral to the bottom.
The leaves are tender and complex offering a range of flavors from asparagus to hints of chestnut. We notice a peach flavor as well. The liquor is soft, silky.
Use a round teaspoon or 3 grams for 8 ounces of water at a lower temperature, as the leaves are delicate. A temp of 175-185 F is ideal. Steep for 1.5-2 minutes and taste. Leaves should yield 2-3 steeps.