Posts Tagged ‘Bi Luo Chun’

The Story of and Processing Steps of Bi Luo Chun

f59ebba446999695cfb0b4769792a959--suzhou-silk-thread[2]by Water Chen
11/1/17

The Tale of Bi Luo Chun

A long, long, time ago, in the Dong Ting Western Mountains lived a beautiful, kind and hardworking girl named Bi Luo. One day, Miss Bi Luo went to Dong Ting East Mountain to cut firewood. When she had climbed half way up the mountain, on the mountain breeze she smelled a captivating but pure fragrance. She turned her head and looked around. She saw that on Mo Li (Jasmine) Peak there were a few tea trees on the highest peak. The fragrance was coming from there. Curious, she climbing over the precarious rocks and cliffs to the peak. She found, in between the broken stones, were a few green tea trees. The very strong fragrance emanated from the bushes. Miss Bi Luo picked some of the young buds and placed them inside the inner pocket of her blouse. She descended the mountain and headed for home. When she arrived home she was both tired and thirsty so she took some of the buds out of her pocket. She immediately smelled the penetrating fragrance which filled the room. Overwhelmed, she shouted, “Ha Sa Ning, Ha Sa Ning” “Startle to death, startle to death”. While she was enjoying the aroma she started to brew some of the buds. After drinking the tea, the liquor infused through her body penetrating even into her organs. The fragrance remained for a long time. She also felt energized and all of her fatigue dissipated. She was very happy and amazed and became determined to transplant some of the tea bushes back in her home. The next day she returned to the peak and dug out some of the little tea trees and planted in them in the foot of the Shi Gong hill of Western Mountains. She took good care of them.

Several years later, as the tea trees prospered, the fragrance from the trees attracted the villagers from the neighboring regions. Miss Bi Luo dried the buds into “copper filaments full of fur”. She brewed them to entertain the people. After drinking, the people were speechless because of the unique aroma and asked “what tea is this”. She replied “Startled me to death.” “Ha Sa Ning” Xiang “Startle to Death” Aroma. Ever since, this kind of “copper filaments full of fur, Startle to Death” tea names became wide spread in the East Mountain and Western Mountain area.

After she died, in memory of her, the local people called this kind of tea Bi Luo Chun (Bi Luo Spring).

 

Processing Steps of Bi Luo Chun green tea

Authentic Bi Luo Chun is harvested only in spring season. The first step is to pick the correct leaves. There can be different grades. This means 1 bud and 1 leaf or 1 bud and 2 leaves. Then, tea leaves are carried back to the factory for processing. The leaves are cooked in a big pot. They are fried. Here are the processing steps.

1. Fixing. When the temperature inside the pot reaches two hundred degrees Celsius, you can put in 1200 grams tea leaves. Shake a handful of leaves to sprinkle them evenly in the pot, and then stir with both hands, about three to five minutes. The hand techniques during this time are fishing clean, shake, spread, kill evenly and thoroughly. There should be no red stems and no leaves which are scorched.

2. Rubbing. Do side flick frying step and then rubbing. At this point water in the strip of tea will be reduced. After the tea reaches about sixty percent dryness, then use twisting of the leaves step for ten minutes. This time you can go to the next step.

3. Kneading / Twisting the white hairs. While frying all the tea will be rubbed a number of rounds. And then, from time to time, they are scattered around to break up the clumps. Repeated several times. The hair will gradually show.

4. Drying. The purpose of drying is to fix the shape of the tea. When the tea leaves evaporate to Jiucheng time, they can be put on mulberry paper. And then put the paper together on the pot to dry.

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11 2017

Bi Luo Chun Cupping Event – Registration Now Open!!

biluochun-green-tea-on-white-plate

photo credit: yezitea.com

Sept 24, 2017

Attention all ITCC members!

I am pleased to announce that registration for the next Cupping Event is now open. This event will focus on and evaluate a very famous and historic green tea, Bi Luo Chun (aka Pi Lo Chun, Green Snail Spring). One of China's top tribute teas of all time, authentic Bi Luo Chun comes from the surrounds of the garden city of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province. Their unique fluffy spiral shape is the hallmark of these precious buds. The top grades are plucked before Qing Ming (April 4-7). Authentic Bi Luo Chun is produced in a narrow geographic area around Dong Ting Mountain near Lake Tai. Samples for this event include the traditional locations from Dong Shan (East Mtn.) and Xi Shan (West Mtn.).

 

Tea production there dates from before the mid-1300s but the original name was “Astounding” or “Scary” Fragrance. According to legend, the name came from a story where a young tea plucker had run out of space in her basket so she tucked the tender tea buds into her blouse. Her body heat warmed the leaves and she was startled by the overwhelming fragrance. The current name was given by The Qing Emperor KangXi when he visited the area in the turn of the 18th century. It is said that one kilo (2.2 lbs) of Bi Luo Chun contains around 14,000 buds. Flavor is delicate in the higher grades yet full and rich with sometimes floral notes and sometimes fruitier notes like honeydew melon. The aroma can range from mellow hay to bold alfalfa. This Cupping Event will include a selection of 8 different teas from different producers, pluck dates and grades.

 

As always, we will follow professional tea cupping procedures and Cupping Event kits will contain all the equipment needed as well as very detailed information about each sample. We will use the professional cupping set which is included in the kit in addition to gram scale, thermometer, pH test strips, tea taster terminology sheet and the cupping procedures.

 

We would like to begin this event as soon as possible so please register promptly. Details are available on the ITCC website www.teacuppers.com however, if you would like to register, please email your request to ITCC directly. ddrteaman@aol.com. Invoices will be sent out rather than using the shopping cart on the website (some people are reporting problems with the check-out process).

 

Also, please do consider writing a post or two for the Community Board blogs. Tell the other members about your interest in tea. Share with the other members whatever is going on for you in your tea world; from tea tasting, tea industry news, trends, production or other tea experiences. We are a community of tea lovers and let us share our passion and knowledge with each other. Send posts in to ITCC for publication.

 

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

With warm regards,

Dan

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09 2017