Bi Luo Chun

There is a verse about the Bi Luo Chun tea: “All around the mountain grow tea bushes, the bluish-green and fragrant Bi Luo Chun tea, intoxicating a distance of 50km.”

Commonly Known as Xia Sha Ren Xiangwhich meaning “strikingly fragrant” in Chinese, this curled, spiral roasted green tea was named Bi Luo Chun by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. Originally produced in the eastern and western slopes of Mt.Dongting in Wu County of Jiangsu Province, it is long known for its “pretty appearance, tender color, rich fragrance and mellow taste.” The dried tea is fine, curted and spiral, with silver fuzzy petiole. It has a rich and natural fragrance of flowers and fruits, a mellow taste and lingering after brew in ceramic teapots. The tea liquid is clear green, and the brewed leaves fine with tender buds.

Bi Luo Chun boasts a natural fragrance of flowers and fruits because the fresh leaves are picked from tea plantations with an abundance of fruits, such as pipa. apricot, prune, red bayberry, pearl, plum, pomegranate, chestnut, walnut, ginkgo, etc. There are four steps for processing this tea:

(1) Spread the newly harvested leaves thinly on the ground to deactivate them;

(2) roll and shape it;

(3) when the tea has lost about 70% of its moisture content, knead softly into a round shape till the fuzzy petiole can be seen; and

(4) desiccate it in the heated pan (completely dry the tea by spreading it on mulberry bark papers and baking together in the pan).

Bi Luo Chun tea roasting and producing involves skillful manual handling of the tea and continually processing the tea in the pans (roasting and rolling consecutively until it is completely dried).

Some other areas like Liyang City of Jinagsu Province also produce Bi Luo Chun tea; the color of the dried tea and fragrance is quite dissimilar. Other provinces like Guizhao and Jiangxi also produce a large quantity. Though some illegal tea traders may produce fake B< Luo Chun by adding chlorophyll and pipa fuzz, the authentic variety can be discerned through a careful check of the color of the liquid, the brewing fragrance and the taste of the brewed liquid.

More information about: Bi Luo Chun.

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