Month of Tea Brewing 2017
Bi Luo Chun
The legend of Bi Luo Chun is that a young woman picking tea filled her basket picking the bushes she had been assigned just before she spotted another lovely grove of tea bushes. Wanting to pluck these before returning to empty her basket, she stuffed the additional leaves into her bodice. The fragrance – excited by the warmth of her body – was remarkable. This tea is known for this exceptional fragrance. Sometimes the name is translated as “Scary Fragrance”. But you might want to think of this more as “startling” or “exceptional”.
It is also called “Green Snail Spring” that describes the beautiful spiral of the leaf in its dry form. This is a name that is said to have been given to it by the Kangxi Emperor.
This is one of China’s most famous and highly sought after green teas. In the last five years, it has become more conveniently available in fine tea stores outside of China.
In 2012 I was asked by the editors of Talking Leaves Press to submit an essay to for their next book, “The Soul and Spirit of tea” about what tea first captivated my love of and devotion to tea. In that essay I told how this tea startled and seduced me into the world of tea. The essay was published with the title, Seduced By The Leaf. It describes the moment when the amazing aroma and flavor of this tea – along with the story of a young girl who first plucked the bush – established a deep connection with the entire leaf-to-cup beauty of all teas. In a moment I became aware of the growers and the pluckers. The artisan manufacturers who finished the tea for me. . . . For me! . . . And I felt humbled by the reality of their hard work. And then a bit sad at our general lack of awareness.
I’ve had the fantastic fortune to travel to many tea farms around the world and pluck fresh tea leaves and walk every step of the process – living for a week in a tea community in China. Now every cup of tea reminds me that this is not just a business connection. it is a human connection. It is a tea lover’s . . . a tea sipper’s . . . bond.
Gratefully sipping . . . Babette
Smacha Auto Brewing System
Created by tea professional and author, Jason Chen, this brewer takes away much of the decision making about brewing a cup of fine tea. You can adjust the amount of tea to be brewed (more makes a stronger tea) and the temperature of the water (hotter brews stronger too) but not the timing. The filter and drain control the amount of time that the hot water stays on the leaves before it drains into the lower pitcher.
There is a great deal of research that people who drink tea live longer and have lower risks of heart disease and cancer. . . . I think there are also psychological and spiritual benefits to tea drinking. There’s a long history of a culture of tea in the Far East thetas meditative and reflective that we have not yet cultivated here in American society.”
(Tea Magazine, Nov-Dec 2012: “Savoring Tea” page 26) — Read Online
- Wikipedia: Biluochun
- Red Blossom Tea
- YouTube: Hand Processing of Bi Luo Chun green tea on Golden Mountain
- Vimeo: Tea with Dr. Andrew Weil and Kevin Rose: Royal Palace, Green Ecstasy, Ocean of Wisdom
- Amazon: The Soul and Spirit of Tea