Bi Luo Chun is quite a delicate tea and I’ve often seen it recommended to be brewed with a top-putting method, that is placing the tea leaves into the vessel after you’ve already filled it with water. Perhaps this was my mistake, as I didn’t do that, but instead I tried to pour the water as gently around the edges of my gaiwan as possible so as not to damage these delicate curly green leaves. My first couple infusions of this tea were a bit on the bitter side, but my third infusion was really harmonious with notes of dew and honeysuckle interspersed with fresh grassy green flavor. There’s a good lingering sweetness, and the feeling this tea leaves in the mouth is very stimulating, a definite hui gan is there. The sensation that lingers in my mouth after drinking this is amazing, a clean, minty kind of tingle and sweet flavor.
I don’t feel the bitterness in this tea is an indication of poor quality. Rather it is simply not a very forgiving tea, and takes some skill to brew. Subsequent infusions of this tea were very sweet, mild, and full of flavor. Despite the clean, stimulating feeling on the sides and roof of the mouth, there’s a bit of drying sensation on the tongue.
Flavor-wise, this is one of the best green teas I’ve had. Getting the texture and mouthfeel to be as gentle as the flavors seems a bit of a challenge for me. Maybe if I had more than a sample amount to experiment with I could try using a lower temperature, a top-putting method, or less leaf. For now, I’ll just say this is an interesting green tea that is well worth trying.
EDIT: I tried what little I had left of this sample in a really small gaiwan and used a top-putting method, and it definitely made a much smoother first few infusions. The tea takes some finesse to brew properly, but if you can get it right, it’s rewarding. :)
Flavors: Grass, Honeysuckle, Sweet