Tuesday, March 27, 2012
San Hsia Bi Luo Chun - Spring 2012
Harvested by hand on March 15, 2012
Origin: San Hsia, Taiwan
Process: Bi Luo Chun, green tea. Oven dried.
Bi Luo Chun from Taiwan is quite different from the famous, original Jiangsu Bi Luo Chun. The leaves are much bigger, due to a different cultivar. Also, thanks to its more southern location, the start of the harvest happens roughly two weeks earlier than in China. This year, there have been a lot of rainfalls at the end of the cold winter. Plants had time to rest and get nourishment. The sun has arrived at the right moment to let the buds grow strong.
As spring progresses and temperatures rise, the shape of the leaves will change and loose its 'tippyness', its pointy, spear like appearance. So, it's in the early season that we can find the smallest and most tender tea buds.
tea bowl. Here, for instance, I use a very shallow celadon bowl that could be called a summer bowl. The large surface of water cools down faster than a deep and narrow bowl.
Bowls are also great vessels to simply watch and marvel at the performance of these green leaves as they open up.
- The black "hare's fur" glaze Jianyang bowl (left) kept the temperature the highest. The brew was noticeably darker. This made the flavors come out the most.
- The wide celadon bowl (middle) let the brew cool down faster than other bowls, resulting in lighter flavors.
- The completely dark bowl (made in Europe) was in between. The clay doesn't retain heat as well as that from Jianyang (Fujian).
- Left, the blue/green bowl from Teajar gives similar results as the celadon. The rim is slightly bent inwards and the shape feels surely footed. Harmony and stability. His latest creations are very similar in shape, but the colors are fantastic.
The green leaves seem to have found back to their natural element. The brown, earth/rock color and the shape suggest more the autumn season.